Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Doom are three volcanic mountains located within Tongariro National Park, the first in the world as the UNESCO World Heritage Status for both its natural (1990) and Maori spiritual and cultural value (1993). The national park is very famous for skiing and snowboarding in winter as well as walking, tramping and mountain climbing in other seasons (credit to DK Eyewitness Travel New Zealand). Two most famous ski-fields in North Island, Whakapapa and Turoa, are located at Mt Ruapehu. Happy Valley in Whakapapa ski-field is very family-friendly. Not only for skiing and snowboarding for professionals, it is also a great place for kids for tobogganing, making “Snowman” or just playing with snow. North Island is not like South Island, which the latter usually has lot of snow in winter. Therefore, Ruapehu is like a winter escape for most people in North Island. I used to come to the park mostly as part of my university club activities in autumn and winter.