Alpine Play

There's more to the snow than just skiing or boarding! Whether it's grabbing a toboggan and sledding down a snowy slope, having snow ball fights or just riding the chairlift to make the most of the stunning views across the Central North Island of New Zealand, a great day is guaranteed!

Happy Valley

Whakapapa Ski Area prides itself on having New Zealand’s biggest and best beginner ski, snowboard and snow play facility – Happy Valley.

Happy Valley is the first and only ski area in New Zealand with an all-weather snow-making system. This state-of-the-art technology guarantees great snow conditions, and big smiles on your family's faces, over a longer season regardless of the weather conditions.

There is also a range of cafes on the mountain serving hot drinks and great tasting food all day, so you can head inside to warm up and get re-energised before you head out again for more winter family fun.


Happy Valley features a dedicated snow play zone with its own covered surface lift well away from the skiing and snowboarding so the little ones (and the not-so-little ones!) are safe while tobogganing and building snowmen.

There's nothing quite like jumping on a toboggan and sledding down a snowy slope! You can't beat sledding for a snow activity that the whole family will love. Happy Valley in Whakapapa Ski Area offers a fantastic sledding area with a fleet of super-fast toboggans for hire.

Scenic chairlift ride

A sightseeing chairlift ride is a great way to check out the upper slopes. See what the skiers and snowboarders are doing further up the field and take in the spectacular views from the highest mountain in the North Island.

Take a trip on scenic chairlift ride over the spectacular volcanic landscape of Whakapapa Ski Area, the highest mountain in the North Island of New Zealand. You’ll be treated to stunning scenery and amazing views of the ski area, Lake Taupo and the Central Plateau. On a clear day you can see right across New Zealand's North Island to Mt Taranaki.

Knoll Ridge Cafe

The top of the Waterfall Express Chairlift sits at an altitude of 2020m. Here you’ll find the architectural award-winning Knoll Ridge Cafe. The Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand. It’s the perfect place to have a meal or hot drink, relax on the deck or by the floor to ceiling windows and admire the views.

Explore our language pages