Explore the Region

Explore the Region

World renowned Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park set the backdrop for truly unique New Zealand experiences.


Situated just south of Lake Taupō in the centre of the North Island, the Ruapehu region with its dramatic volcanic landscapes, lush native forests and spiritual rivers epitomise New Zealand's pure outdoors.

The Ruapehu region is the only area in New Zealand where you can experience such dramatic volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro National Park World Heritage site and, within the same area, immerse yourself in the lush dense forest of the Whanganui National Park. The power of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park coupled with the mighty Whanganui River will leave you mesmerised and energised.

Immerse yourself in Our Greater Outdoors

Ruapehu is proudly home to Tongariro National Park World Heritage site, as well as the historical and culturally significant Whanganui National Park, making the area one of New Zealand’s premium outdoor destinations.

Situated in the middle of the North Island, south of Lake Taupō, Ruapehu is made up of a range of unique towns and villages each with their own charms. Ohakune, National Park Village, Whakapapa Village, and Taumarunui are the larger of these. Base yourself in or around this stunning region and spend some time exploring Our Greater Outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

What to see and do

Immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty through one of the many world-renowned hiking experiences including the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Whanganui Journey,  or travel in time on the historical Bridge to Nowhere. With an average 3.25m snowfall, in the colder months, you can go for walks or cycle at the foot of snow-capped mountains, build a snowman, snuggle up in the highest cafe in NZ and watch the alpine world outside, and of course, you can ski, snowboard or toboggan your way down the slopes of New Zealand's largest ski areas. Or get ready for a journey into the clouds with Sky Waka – the most unique gondola experience in NZ.

If cycling is more your speed, you can ride one of the huge array of mountain bike trails in the area, including two of New Zealand Great Rides in the Timber Trail and Mountains to Sea journey.

Where to Stay

Ruapehu also has accommodation and food establishments to suit all types of travellers – families, couples, school groups, there’s something for everyone here. It is the perfect place to base yourself to explore Our Greater Outdoors. This is the place to escape the city and relax in nature's wonderland, waking to birdsong each morning.

With an abundance of activities including Forgotten World Adventures, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, skiing, snowboarding, and more – Ruapehu truly does have something for everyone all year round.


Bathroom at Night Sky Cottage accommodation in Horopito - Visit Ruapehu.jpg All Accommodation
All Accommodation

All Accommodation

Find your happy place in Ruapehu. From cosy camping and cheerful backpackers, to luxury lodges and tiny homes, Ruapehu has just about every style of bed (and breakfast) you can imagine.

Passenger looking at map of Ruapehu - Visit Ruapehu.jpg Getting Here
Getting Here

Getting Here

In the heart of the North Island, Ruapehu’s two national parks and surrounding countryside provide a beautiful backdrop to many outdoor adventures.

Couple cycling the Timber Trail - Visit Ruapehu.jpg All activities
All activities

All activities

It all begins right here. Your invitation to explore Our Greater Outdoors is in your hands. Home to Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park, two New Zealand Great Walks, there’s plenty to see and do in Ruapehu all year-round.