Kids’ Season Passes Fuels Growth for Whakapapa

Whakapapa warns first time visitors to plan ahead

Whakapapa is gearing up to welcome an influx of young snow-seekers and first-time skiers to its slopes, following the success of its season pass campaign aimed at children under 10. With thousands of free season passes issued to kids, and approximately 70 per cent of these as new memberships, Whakapapa is signaling a return to growth.


Whakapapa Chief Executive Travis Donoghue expressed his enthusiasm saying: “Our free season pass offer for kids under 10 has been a game changer for families re-engaging with snow sports at Whakapapa. We are thrilled to accomplish what we set out to do – reduce financial barriers for the next generation and secure the future of snow sports in New Zealand. Our paid revenue from season passes also increased by more than 65 per cent year on year, which is a great indicator of future success at Whakapapa”.

“We are well-positioned for an extended season into late October. Whakapapa offers a long season, with winter proper kicking off from late July onwards and running until Labour Day. With two sets of school holidays during our winter season we are encouraging our guests to remember that August to October is a brilliant time to visit, and to balance their snow experiences with sledding, sightseeing and exploring different ski areas beyond just Happy Valley,” added Travis.

The second school holiday break (September/October) is prime time for conditions and snow adventures at Whakapapa. Sledding and Sky Waka sightseeing have already commenced and will continue through to 28 October. The lower mountain and learning areas including Happy Valley and the Rangatira chairlift, will open from Matariki, Friday 28 June, with the upper mountain opening for skiing and snowboarding from 13 July, as snow conditions allow.


For kids hitting the snow for the first time, parents are encouraged to book Snow School lessons to give them the best start. Experienced parents and caregivers should book their day passes in advance to fully appreciate the joy of skiing and thrive alongside their children on the slopes of Whakapapa.

For those renting snow equipment, its crucial to secure gear in advance online to avoid disappointment as a limited number of kid’s skis are available for rental on-site.

First-time visitors to Whakapapa are advised to prepare in advance, planning and booking their experiences ahead of time. provides valuable information for newcomers to familiarise themselves with key information, including the ski area’s location and trail map, driving the mountain road, daily snow condition report, and the option to purchase everything online including Snow School lessons and rentals to maximise play time on the maunga.


Snow Cards are visitors’ passports to Whakapapa, pre-loaded with purchases including ski, snowboard sledding and sightseeing passes, rental equipment, and lessons. Passes can be collected from click and collect machines on mountain. To avoid queues, passes can also be collected from designated machine locations in Auckland, Wellington, Taupo and National Park for a more streamlined on mountain experience.

Offering the best value skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand, Whakapapa ensures a memorable experience for first-time families to veteran snow athletes and everyone in between. Plan your unforgettable snow adventure at New Zealand’s premier ski destination at

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