Desert Alpine Club

Find good lines, good people, and an amazing vibe at the Desert Alpine Club (DAC) - an incredibly unique experience where human ingenuity, friendship and a touch of alcohol combine to make for a cocktail of magic memories on snow.

DAC is one of two dedicated skiing/boarding clubs operating the Tukino ski field, at an altitude of 1684 meters on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand's North Island. The club was founded in 1962 and is still thriving today, with members of all ages.

Helping you enjoy your alpine experience

DAC is run by passionate clubbies, who rather than see soaring profits, prefer the rush of the wind in their hair and white stuff sliding beneath their planks.

We aim to keep the good times affordable for all our members, particularly families. To help achieve this the club has recently installed the largest solar system on the mountain, which keeps the lights on and the lodge warm, without burning diesel in our generators (there’re no power lines at Tukino).

Adult and Junior Member rates for the winter season are just $32 and $17 per night respectively which includes all your meals! And the prices have been that way for many years now!

The reason for this is because the club functions as more of a community or an extended family rather than just a bunch of individuals staying in a disconnected commercial hostel. Members work, ski, board and socialise together, united in their enjoyment of this unique slice of New Zealand alpine culture.


DAC has a welcoming and inclusive environment. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the lodge runs efficiently day-to-day. With a 'many hands make light work' approach, duties such as meal preparation and cleaning are rostered daily and shared by members and non-members alike.

Our modern lodge accommodates up to 32 people in 10 separate bunkrooms. Families normally enjoy their own room.  It has a 4.5-kilowatt solar power system with diesel generator backups and uses rain water and melted snow for its water supply. It features:

  • Well equipped kitchen with two large commercial gas stoves

  • Comfortable dining and living areas, with downstairs kids play area.

  • Good showers

  • 10 Bunkrooms for accommodation, with 2-6 beds per room

  • Radiator heating thought out the lodge with a social fireplace in the lounge

  • Drying room

  • Friendly, smoke free environment


New members who embrace our culture of pitching in and collectively sharing the rewards are welcome to join the club

Work Parties are a part of the club culture and are an ideal way to not only contribute to the club but are also a great way to catch up with like-minded people over that snow drought period known as Summer. The Club asks that each adult member completes one full work party per year.

For members, we also have a range of budget ex-rental ski equipment, which can be used free of charge.

For more information about Desert Alpine Club Membership, including joining the club, please click here.


Non-members are very welcome to stay and enjoy the vibe, but we don’t offer instant online memberships, because well that would be like a country without an immigration service, it may not turn out so well for anybody! After your stay, if becoming a member appeals, please consider the membership options.

Click here to go to the Desert Alpine Club home page.


Phone: 06-825 8118 (Option 4)