Ohakune, the southern gateway to the Tongariro National Park, caters for both summer and winter visitors. A popular stay point for hikers doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Ohakune has easy access to premiere snow sports, trout fishing, mountain biking, tramping and bushwalking.
A scenic drive toward Ohakune will take you through the tiny settlement of Erua and past historic Horopito. Housing the start point for the Ohakune Old Coach Road, it's also home to the vintage car museum that starred in the New Zealand classic movie of the same name: 'Smash Palace' and more recently in the 2016 blockbuster 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople.'
The charming resort town of Ohakune, the small settlement of Rangataua and the army town of Waiouru are connected through history by the north Island Main Trunk Railway, completed in 1907. A short drive from Turoa ski area, with its fertile soil rich with volcanic ash, Ohakune is known as the Carrot Capital of New Zealand, reflecting the importance of market gardening to this area.
From indoor rock climbing, to guided horse treks, short bush walks and easy cycle trails, Ohakune has a plethora of family friendly activities to enjoy. A short drive up the mountain road to Turoa ski area, you can easily hire a toboggan and play with the kids in the snow, or take a scenic chairlift ride to experience incredible views of the alpine landscape.
For those more adventurous types, take a bit of an adrenaline shot by skiing or snowboarding on an active volcano, or if you’re just after a cozy fire, a warm meal and a glass of wine, there are plenty of first class restaurants, bars and eateries to satisfy the most discerning palates.
The Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono cycle trail starts on the flanks of Mount Ruapehu, travels through Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park, then follows New Zealand's longest navigable river to the ocean floor in Wanganui. For a shorter slice of the trail, the Ohakune Old Coach Road is a classic short ride. With one end of the trail in Ohakune, access is easy and the ride is suitable for beginners to experts. Originally used by horse-drawn coaches to transport passengers between the two rail heads of the unfinished North Island trunk line, The Old Coach Road is steeped in history, boasting fantastic views and landmarks, including the Hapuawhenua Viaduct.
If you’re keen on a longer visit, there are various options that cover the entire spectrum of accommodation experiences. From camping to luxury lodges and chateaus, Ohakune has just about every style of bed (and breakfast) you can imagine. Whether you’d like a high energy social stay, or you’d rather fall asleep to the warm glow of a crackling fire, it’s easy to browse and book all manner of accommodations right here.