Nestled into the lower slopes on the western side of Mount Ruapehu, Whakapapa Village marks the base of the Bruce road and the gateway to the Whakapapa ski field. The settlement is landmarked by the elegant Chateau Tongariro Hotel, a large heritage hotel, built in 1929.
The village also offers less expensive accommodation, including campsites, lodges and motels. As the village is the main entrance into the Tongariro National Park, there are many beautiful short and longer walking tracks begin here. The central location of the village within the national park gives spectacular views of all three volcanoes.
In winter, shuttle buses operate to and from Whakapapa, a ski field boasting extensive, wide open volcanic terrain, which includes 30 runs, gear rental, ski schools and cafés. Summer is a time for canoeing, white water rafting and hiking in the Tongariro National Park. Expeditions include the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit.