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Rusutsu Resort

7 nights from $3,199pp

Includes: return flights ex Auckland to Sapporo including 2 pieces of luggage up to 23kgs, pre/post nights accommodation in Sapporo, return transfers to Niseko, 7 nights accommodation and 6 day lift pass.

Rusutsu is situated on the island of Hokkaido, 90mins west of Sapporo close to Niseko and the extinct volcano Mt Yotei. Family-friendly Rusutsu has 37 diverse courses that offer something for everyone from beginners to experts.

The ski area is spread across three mountains, with skiing directly above the resort on West Mountain, or you can take a gondola ride to the majority of terrain spread across East Mountain and its lift- linked neighbour Mt Isola, which together have about three-quarters of the 42km of runs - and some spectacular scenery! If you don’t like sharing when it comes to untracked powder then Rusutsu is the place for you. The main advantage Rusutsu has over other resorts in Hokkaido is the accessibility of the tree runs and back country.

It's possible to ski straight off the lifts and into the best tree skiing in Hokkaido and then ski straight back out onto the lifts. This means on any given day, you get more powder turns than you would expect in other Japan ski destinations. Rusutsu offers amazing variety and some awesome natural terrain features not found in other resorts.

The backcountry is superb, with just a 20 minute hike you can access long steep chutes or a myriad of tree runs. There's also night skiing till 8pm. Add to this one of the best half-pipes and snow-parks in the area and you have a resort which offers everything that the other resorts offer without having to share.

For those not quite ready to negotiate deep snow the groomed runs are great too. Groomed to perfection they resemble gigantic freeways with long consistent fall-lines, perfect for those wanting to warm up their powder legs. For the kids there is a host of activities in and around the Rusutsu Resort hotel including tubing, dog sledding and snowmobiling.

At the base of Rusutsu there is only a handful of accommodation options which means Rusutsu is a lot less crowded than the likes of its neighbour Niseko. Accommodation ranges from Hostel style lodge rooms to Suite room in the Resorts towers. The town of Rusutsu comprises the Rusutsu Resort Hotel and a handful of pensions, restaurants and a new sports bar called the 'Cricket Bar' that serves pizzas, boutique beers and has a large screen TV.

PRICES ARE IN NZ$. Please note most of these prices are ex Auckland and subject to currency fluctuations, flight availability and dates of travel. High season surcharges may apply.