The Iwikau Ski Club began life as the Waikato University Ski Club. In the 1970s a group of keen skiers at the university formed the club and purchased from the National Park Ski & Country Club (NPSCC) the right to build a Lodge on the Whakapapa Skifield, since NPSCC had decided to relocate to National Park township.
Since Lodge permits are not transferable, the National Parks Board were not impressed with the sale but allowed it to proceed since the purchaser was a university club.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds and a transient club membership the Lodge permit languished for several years. Eventually the National Parks Board announced to the club that if a Lodge was not up and running by the end of the 1984 season the permit would become invalid.
A strong membership drive ensued, mainly in Auckland, and the funds and membership base necessary for a viable club were achieved. With the help of many hundreds of hours of voluntary labour by the membership, plans were drawn up, the Whakapapa Lodge was built and operational for the 1984 season. As the Waikato Time newspaper article below states, this was the last permit issued which makes our lodge the newest lodge on Whakapapa - even though it is now close to 40 years old!
In 1986 it was felt that the club’s name no longer reflected the nature of the membership and so our current name, Iwikau Ski Club, was chosen by a Special General Meeting.
In that year also we took up the opportunity to purchase a little white house in Ohakune, right next to the Powderhorn. Over the years many club members have been very glad of its proximity to the Junction bars and eateries!
Fast-forward to 2015, and a chance meeting between an Iwikau committee member and the wife of the president of NPSCC resulted in a merger between the two clubs. Now we have Lodges in all three Ruapehu locations and it’s particularly satisfying to both clubs to have come ‘full circle’ and ended up a single entity after 30-odd years. We now have the best ski club accommodation in the Ruapehu region (in our opinion!)
Waikato Times Article from 1983