Search View
map
  • 1U0A8513.jpg
  1. Visit Ruapehu
  2. Family Fun in Ruapehu: From Ohakune and Raetihi to National Park

Family Fun in Ruapehu: From Ohakune and Raetihi to National Park

The air feels crisper and the stars twinkle brighter - there’s just something about Ruapehu that reconnects you to a life force that gets lost in the busyness of everyday life. It’s a welcoming place where families can gather to enjoy quality time together set in the most beautiful backdrop - with giant carrots, roaming dinosaurs, and chateaus straight out of a fairy-tale, just like a fantastic storybook brought to life.

Nourished by the elements, it’s easy to tune in to nature’s radio here - the ever-flowing rivers to skip stones or dangle a line, surrounded by majestic mountains and spectacular waterfalls inviting you to seek, explore and adventure. From horse treks to climbing walls and a journey into the clouds on a Sky Waka, Ruapehu is a family friendly holiday destination that delivers unforgettable fun all-year round. 

DAY ONE: OHAKUNE LOVE

3N5A1276.jpg

Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park

Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park

The iconic Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park is a must-do when in Ruapehu. Frolic and play surrounded by larger than life veggies, race cars, and climbing frames. Located just outside the entrance to Ohakune, you’ll find picnic tables, a BMX track, bush walks, plenty of parking and modern toilet facilities. The exercise station is a great addition for mums and dads wanting to get in some fitness too!

Walk or bike along the Mangawhero River

Walk or bike along the Mangawhero River Popular with locals and visitors alike, the Mangawhero River Walkway is a scenic well-maintained track located along Mangawhero Terrace in Ohakune. The open, grassy areas are perfect for picnics with plenty of shade around (dog-friendly too) with a picturesque swing bridge to boot. For a longer walk, head up towards Ohakune Mountain Road and enjoy the full 1 hr, 3km Mangawhero Forest loop with an option to explore the gentle Rimu Walk. This side-track is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs and offers a beautiful introduction to the forest’s journey from beautiful information panels provided.

Top tip!

For beginners to more experienced riders, Ruapehu Homestead Horse Treks lets you experience the greater outdoors against the snow-capped mountains of Mount Ruapehu. Ranging from one hour to three-hour trails, the friendly team can guide all abilities to introduce you to basic care and safety hints before embarking on a ride through the historic village of Rangataua, local mountain streams or backcountry trails.

DAY TWO: ACTIVE ADVENTURES AT NATIONAL PARK

Indoor Rock Climbing

Not just for rainy days, the indoor climbing wall at YHA National Park is a great family activity to give a go. With 55 different climbs in the 8 metres high climbing hall, there is a climb to suit beginners to more advanced climbers, ranging from grades 10 to 26. All gear is included with entry as well as full instruction and safety briefing. Open daily from 9 am to 8 pm, this hands-on adventure provides hours of entertainment for kids as well parents too!

Quad and buggy adventures

Get your adrenaline pumping on an action-packed quad bike adventure with Ruapehu Adventure Rides. Set amidst wide-open spaces and surrounded by Tongariro National Park, experience the excitement of a guided quad bike tour over hills, through forests and across waterways led by an experienced guide. For those under sixteen years of age, enjoy an all-terrain, all weather, buggy ride for some awesome off-road fun. Safety gear and briefing provided to get amongst it.

3N5A4060.jpg

Top tip! 

Tawhai Falls, also known as Gollum’s Pool, was used as a filming location for the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. Just a 5 minutes’ drive from the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre, this short walk-through beautiful mountain toatoa and beech forest leads you to an enchanting 13-metre-high waterfall and giant boulders - perfect for a pit stop or picnic.

DAY THREE: RAETIHI AND BEYOND

3N5A1586_compressed.jpg (1)

Bird spotting and fairy hunting at Makotuku River

In the heart of Raetihi is a scenic 4km walkway along the Makotuku River that everyone in the family will enjoy. Filled with birdsong, fairy houses and beautiful native bush, wind through this easy going, relatively flat track to nourish the body and soul with a bit of forest bathing and the soothing sounds of trickling streams surrounding you.

The Dinosaur House

Quirky and fun, the Dinosaur House in Raetihi is always a hit with families– where big kids as well as little kids are transported to a land before our time, back to when dinosaurs ruled. Set in an old, two-storey office building, this incredible collection of dinosaur paraphernalia includes larger than life animatronic dinosaurs, movie memorabilia and retro video games. Pop out in the gardens for a walk in the wild side and make sure to chat with the friendly and super knowledgeable owners who sure know a thing or two about dinosaurs.

Top tip! 

If you want to take the kids to new heights, take a journey into the clouds on the Sky Waka - New Zealand’s most unique gondola ride within the UNESCO dual world heritage Tongariro National Park. With floor-to-ceiling views on this state-of-the-art, glass-bottom gondola, experience the magic of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngāuruhoe and Mt Tongariro like never before.

So what are you waiting for? Gather the fam and head to Ruapehu for some fun!

  • Adrift Tongariro (002).jpg

    Ruapehu Activities

    Whether it’s adrenaline you’re after, family time, or relaxing with a good coffee enjoying the scenery, Ruapehu has it all.

  • Powderhorn 1.jpg

    All Accommodation

    View all accommodation listings

  • Blind Finch 1.jpg (1)

    Eat | Drink | Shop

    Fancy a gourmet filet mignon? Maybe you’d rather a juicy burger, or perhaps just some good old fish ‘n chips. Whatever your taste, Ruapehu is home to some first class eating establishments, with a wide array of local and international beverages on offer.

Show on the map