A generally southeast aspect and the multitude of climbs at low altitude make Tūkino Skifield a particularly good location for ice climbing on Ruapehu.
For rock climbing see climbnz.org.nz/nz/ni/tongariro/tūkino.
Tukino skifield is accessed via a 4WD road from the Desert Road. There is a locked gate 4km before the road end: see Tukino Alpine Sports Club (TASC) website for contact details to get key and road conditions. As of January 2015, the access road was fine for 4WD cars and a couple of 2WD cars made it to and from the NZAC Summer Camp.
Please remember that you are in an alpine area, and the road can be easily blocked by snow at any time of the year. So caution is advised, and keep an eye on the forecast. It's a long way to the nearest vehicle recovery operator who has appropriately equipped vehicles.