Get prepared
Your trip to Whakapapa

Getting here

Located in the central North Island, an easy drive from main centres of Auckland (5-hour drive) and Wellington (4-hour drive), getting far away and exploring Whakapapa’s unique volcanic terrain, is closer than you think.

Neighbouring towns of National Park, Turangi and Ohakune (between 25-minutes and 45-minutes drive from Whakapapa), and larger town, Taupō (1 hr 30 minutes’ drive north from Whakapapa), provide a great day-base to explore from.

Buy online

Buy ahead and buy online to save time.

Cutting down the time that it takes for you to get on the snow and enjoying yourself is super important to us. Once you get here, we also want to make your experience as seamless as possible.

Reload your exisiting Snow Card with your purchase or pick up your new Snow Card at any of our Click & Collect machines on or off mountain, using a QR code that will be emailed to you once you complete your online transaction.

Whakapapa location and drive times

Whakapapa is right in the middle of the North Island, an easy drive from Auckland, Wellington & most other North Island cities & towns. Head over for an easy short or long winter break.

Once you're in the region, you'll find it well serviced by the local villages of National Park & Whakapapa Village. From Whakapapa Village you're only a short 6km drive up a fully sealed road to Whakapapa.

The closest airport to Whakapapa is Taupō's domestic airport, with a 1 hour 20 min drive.

Parking on mountain

Parking is available on mountain, on a first come, first served basis. You must check the road status prior to embarking on your journey up the mountain road, to understand conditions and whether the road is open, restricted to 4WD and / or chains, or closed. Also, whether, on a busy day, the car parks are full.

Carpooling is encouraged, from both a social and environmental standpoint, and Snowriders NZ can help connect empty seats with those looking for a ride up the maunga.

Park and ride shuttle transport

There are many local shuttle operators which offer daily trips up to Whakapapa and advance booking is advised.

A Park and Ride Centre is available with all day free parking in National Park. The majority of pre-booked shuttles will pick up here - Click Here for directions.

Parking within Whakapapa Village (by The Chateau Tongariro) is now limited to 3 hour free parking.

Being prepared

Whakapapa’s unique alpine conditions are very changeable. Our season spans warmer early season and spring days through to some of the harshest winter conditions in New Zealand. Conditions change day to day, and hour to hour.

Come dressed for alpine conditions, with layers of clothing and protective outerwear, footwear and eyewear, regardless of whether you plan to ride or simply see the sights. Sunscreen is also recommended.

Regardless of what the conditions throw up, if you are prepared you can be assured of a comfortable and enjoyable day. Check our latest conditions (regularly!)

Passes FAQs

Do i need to pay for or book parking?