5 Jul 2020

Online carpark system for Mount Ruapehu

7:15 pm on 5 July 2020

Anyone wanting to ski at Mount Ruapehu will have to book a carpark online from next week or use public transport.

On a busy day, the Whakapapa ski area on Mount Ruapehu hosts thousands of visitors, seen here leaving the field at the end of a fine day.

Whakapapa ski area on Mount Ruapehu. (File photo). Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

The move is to improve road safety and environmental protections following a surge of demand on facilities.

"In the past, we've had some hairy incidents going up [the maunga], where people are trying to fit chains when it is snowing, or going up without chains, falling off the road ... it was just a matter of time," Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said.

The change should've been made five years ago, he said, but it would be in time for an expected busy ski season this year.

"We'll have good snow, and we've got another big system coming next week which will dump a lot of snow, so that really ensures the whole winter."

The online carpark booking system for Whakapapa and Tūroa starts on Wednesday, for booking from next Saturday.

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