Walk This Way: The Best Walks and Hikes to Explore in Ruapehu

The best walks and hikes to discover in Ruapehu including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the Tongariro Northern Circuit, the Whanganui Journey, the Te Araroa Trail and so much more.

Finding your place in the world begins with a single step. From the wonders of Tongariro National Park to the west and the magnificence of Whanganui National Park to the east, the impressive network of walking and hiking tracks in Ruapehu reaches far and wide. Take on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the world’s best one-day hikes, or discover lesser-known walks and nature trails in Ruapehu to fuel your wanderlust like never before.

Amidst the wide-open landscapes of dramatic mountain peaks, ancient lava flows, and winding rivers, the dramatic and varied vistas make for some of the best walking and hiking adventures in the Central North Island. Base yourself from idyllic alpine villages and mountain towns in Ruapehu where you can wake up, get your boots on and head into Our Greater Outdoors right from your doorstep.

Tongariro National Park

Home to New Zealand’s oldest national park, the UNESCO Dual World Heritage site of Tongariro National Park is one of two National Parks in Ruapehu. Easily accessible from National Park Village or Whakapapa Village to the north or Ohakune from the south, Tongariro National Park is a year-round, all-season destination that offers walking, hiking, mountain biking, sightseeing and come wintertime, turns into an outdoor wonderland for skiing, snowboarding and snow play.

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Whanganui National Park

Rich in history and natural wonders, Whanganui National Park is home to the mystical Whanganui River – NZ’s longest navigable river at 290 km long. Winding its way from the mountains to the Tasman Sea, the Whanganui River is the beating heart of Whanganui National Park and is an invitation for unforgettable, authentic experiences in Ruapehu’s Greater Outdoors. From jetboating to canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing, Whanganui National Park offers a range of fun, hands-on activities throughout the year.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Also known as the Tongariro Crossing or TAC, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is dubbed as one of the world’s best one-day hikes. This 19 km journey through the geological wonders of Tongariro National Park is both challenging and rewarding and can be done either self-guided or guided for a more immersive experience. Rich in both cultural and natural heritage, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an unforgettable trek that you can enjoy year-round.

Two New Zealand Great Walks

Ruapehu is home to not just one, but two New Zealand Great Walks. One on land, the other on water. The Tongariro Northern Circuit is an epic multi-day 43 km loop track that takes you through to the other-worldly volcanic landscapes of Tongariro National Park. The Whanganui River Journey lets the water do the walking as you paddle down the longest navigable river in New Zealand on either a 3-day or 5-day journey past lush riverbanks, deep gorges, and stunning waterfalls. Keep in mind that during the Great Walk season between October and April, it’s important to book huts and campsites in advance.

Te Araroa Trail

A highlight for many Te Araroa Trail walkers, Ruapehu is a stand-out region along the legendary 3,000 km journey known as Te Araroa - New Zealand’s Trail. Whether you’re making your way through Ruapehu as a NOBO walker, a SOBO walker, a section walker or even if you are flip-flopping your way along the Te Araroa Trail, you’ll traverse through a variety of spectacular terrain and vistas including the Timber Trail in the Pureora Forestthe 42 Traverse, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing to National Park Village, and the Whanganui Journey.

So strap on your walking boots and get hiking in Ruapehu. Find out more here.

Posted by on 18 October 2021