While a key attraction of the Ruapehu region is its wilderness and spectacular beauty, getting lost is no fun for anyone. Seek and heed advice about weather, appropriate clothing and the required levels of fitness. Most importantly make sure someone knows your plans, your intended travel route and let them know when you’ve returned. The best way is to follow the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
People embarking on a trip without the assistance of an experienced guide should err on the side of caution, carrying additional clothing, food, water, camping and first aid equipment. Guided tours are essential for inexperienced visitors and they aren’t a bad idea for the experienced either. You can easily book a tour from one of the guides in the Ruapehu region. They know the terrain like the back of their hands and can impart ‘secret’ local knowledge to make your visit even more enjoyable.
The weather can spin on a dime in an alpine environment, it’s important to check multiple sources before embarking on any trip in the region. You may leave in full sunshine, only to find yourself a couple of hours later in a the heart of gusting blizzard. We recommend carrying equipment for all conditions, even if the forecast is for calm blue skies.
Going to the toilet can prove to be an issue at times, ablution facilities are limited so visitors should note locations before setting out each day. We strongly advise people to stay on the marked tracks and ask them to carry out all rubbish to help maintain this pristine environment.
If you are driving to a start point, make sure you take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue. Make sure you leave any valuables in safe storage. Utilise track transport to avoid leaving your car unattended in isolated areas. Where possible, use commercial campgrounds rather than freedom camping at road end and rest areas.