North Island adventures: snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu (with video)

You’ve done your sky diving, bungy, jet boating and black water rafting, but you’re still craving adventure? Not a problem. How about snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s most active volcano?

Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano, situated in Tongariro National Park on New Zealand’s North Island, not far away from Lake Taupo. With Taupo being the adventure capital of the North Island, it is not really surprising to find yet another amazing adventure waiting for you in the neighbourhood!

Snowboarding on an active volcano
Let me show you what snowboarding on Mount Ruapehu looks like:

There are two ski fields on Ruapehu, Whakapapa and Turoa, and these two are the largest in New Zealand. That’s astonishing, considering the South Island has the Southern Alps and quite a few ski areas at Coronet Peak and the Remarkables near Queenstown or Mount Olympus in Canterbury. You just have to get your head around the fact that, as you drive up to the mountain through Tongariro National Park, despite seeing desert landscapes and volcanic rocks that you associate with heat and hot weather, you’ll be indulging in your favourite winter pastime.

View from Mt Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand

View from Mt Ruapehu, North Island, New Zealand

The great thing about snowboarding on Ruapehu is that you can easily do it as a day trip from Taupo. You don’t even need any special clothes or equipment – you can rent all of that on site! And please don’t be too worried about the whole active volcano thing: there are posters with safety instructions everywhere, even in the toilet stalls!

Snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu, with a view towards Mt Ngaruhoe (Mt Doom)

Snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu, with a view towards Mt Ngaruhoe (Mt Doom)

Snowboarding down an active volcano – only in New Zealand!

What’s the craziest adventure activity you’ve taken part in in New Zealand?

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  12 comments for “North Island adventures: snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu (with video)

  1. 24 May, 2011 at 08:55

    I love all the activities in New Zealand – except for the black water rafting which was a bit of a let down, but oh well you can’t love everything in a country.

    • Christina
      24 May, 2011 at 14:06

      NZ is great for all these activities, that’s true. Never tried black water rafting, but want to do it one day.

  2. 24 May, 2011 at 13:09

    Looks like so much fun! I’m not the best snowboarder- need a little more practice- but I’d love to do it again.
    New Zealand is really high on our travel list, hopefully we can make it down there soon.

    • Christina
      24 May, 2011 at 17:28

      I hope you can make it there soon, I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. Snow season is until Sept/Oct, so you’ve got loads of time for going snowboarding there if you want!

  3. 25 May, 2011 at 07:34

    Nice that you can rent everything you need on site – for someone that doesn’t own any equipment. Really…what kind of instructions for escape are in the toilet stalls?? That’s great!

    • Christina
      25 May, 2011 at 13:35

      Mark, they make sure that while you’re in there you’ve got something useful to read!

  4. 25 May, 2011 at 07:45

    Looks like fun! I miss my snowboard. I’m afraid I’ll forget how to ride, since I didn’t get out this year.

    • Christina
      25 May, 2011 at 13:36

      Tons of fun, and plenty of room for beginners like myself!

  5. 25 May, 2011 at 13:54

    New Zealand has some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. However, I am not sure if I could snowboard on an active volcano. With volcanoes and earthquakes and such diversity in geography, New Zealand is quite the adventure destination!

  6. Christina
    22 August, 2011 at 08:50

    There’s adventure everywhere, you don’t even need to look for it. I did feel a bit uneasy in the beginning, thinking what would happen if the volcano would erupt. But honestly, with my snowboarding skills my mind was occupied with just getting to the bottom of the slopes in one piece!

  7. 5 June, 2013 at 13:04

    This is just what I was looking for! I’m going to visit Taupo and would love to try snowboarding, but I only want to do a day trip. I’m glad that’s possible! And if you really are a beginner, you are really good!

    • Christina
      9 June, 2013 at 22:02

      Hey Arianwen – thanks for your comment. So excited to hear you’re about to go to NZ. At that time I was a beginner and I found the slopes on Mt Ruapehu to be perfectly suited to my needs, and the snow was a bit slushy so no fear of gaining too much speed 😉 Wait for my Japan snowboarding post in a few weeks, looks much better style-wise. I think I can now safely say I’m higher intermediate 😀

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