With September’s Health and Wellness theme at Madison, I thought I’d share a passion of mine that not only rejuvenates my body and mind but brings me a slice of my previous home, Canada. New Zealand’s Mt Ruapehu (www.mtruapehu.com) offers challenging pistes and glorious views, all within a few hours’ drive of Auckland!
Mt Ruapehu has two ski fields; Whakapapa and Turoa. If you feel like you’re a beginner to intermediate, Whakapapa has friendly blue runs that are open and wide (this means fewer opportunities to be a crash test dummy). Turoa is ideal for those who are seasoned shredders and looking for black and double black diamond challenges. It’s also worth noting that Turoa has a single, narrow lane going all the way down to the main base which can be a headache for beginners and experts alike!
The drive from Auckland to Mt Ruapehu is scenic with lush green farmland with sheep and cattle galore, but can prove to be challenging as it takes approximately 4 and a half hours. For this kind of mission, it’s important to have friends that keep you entertained; whether that be the car DJ, an on-the-road quiz master, or just simply someone who stays awake with you!
Accommodation options are widely available on either side and hostels are a popular option, but if you have a group of 6 or more, I recommend booking a bach (holiday house for those still learning Kiwi Slang 101) which makes for a more comfortable, home-away-from-home stay. Check out www.bookabach.co.nz or www.aa.co.nz for inspiration.
Last but not least, have fun. Take all that NZ and Ruapehu has to offer remembering that a spot of fitness matched with a good, hearty laugh will boost your immune system!