Turoa is a large skifield on the south western side of Mount Ruapehu, the highest mountain in the North Island of New Zealand, in Tongariro National Park. The area has been used for skiing since before the completion of the Mountain Road, but the first lifts opened in 1978.
There are two beginner areas, and many intermediate and advanced trails. The upper field is a mix of natural pipes, steep drops, fast plains, and easier slopes, along with several terrain parks. The lower field contains the field's single narrow beginner trail, Clarry's Track, and a few other intermediate trails. They also serve as access to the base area from the upper mountain, and are often crowded. The field is and has a vertical drop.
The skifield is reached via the Mountain Road from the town of Ohakune. The Mountain Road was built by locals from Ohakune, mostly during weekends after they formed the Mountain Road Association in 1952. Their aim was to open Ruapehu's southern slopes for skiing, partly as a replacement industry for the decline in logging which had sustained the town for the previous decades. The now renamed Ministry of Works helped with the road on one occasion by 'misplacing' a culvert destined for another roading project. The 17 kilometre road was opened in 1963. It winds up through spectacular native forest before breaking out above the tree line and finishes at a complex of carparks below the bottom chairlift.
Turoa has been owned by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts since 2000, which also owns the nearby Whakapapa skifield, also on Mt. Ruapehu. It is possible to traverse from one field to the other. The two are operated together, with a combined lift ticket for both fields. Together, they are considered to be the largest ski resort in New Zealand and possibly the southern hemisphere.
On a good day it is possible to hike to the top of the mountain with skis or snowboard in hand, view the Crater Lake, and then ski back down to the field, or to Whakapapa. Also on a clear day Mount Taranaki can be seen.
A new high speed six-seater chairlift has been added for the winter of 2007, replacing an existing T-bar to the top of the mountain.