Kia Ora. Welcome to Ruapehu

Ruapehu Day Walks

Whether you're seeking rugged trails, panoramic vistas, or serene alpine lakes, Ruapehu offers an array of unforgettable journeys that will leave you awe-inspired and invigorated by the natural beauty of New Zealand's stunning wilderness.

Silica Rapids

Starting at the DOC Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village this 7km return varied walking track travels through mountain beech forest alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the Silica Rapids. You will see a range of vegetation along the track, and on a clear day offers spectacular views of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngāuruhoe.

View From The  Silica Rapids Walk B - Visit Ruapehu.jpg

Lake Surprise

This refreshing hike is nestled 15km up the Ohakune Mountain Road. It is the beginning of a 5-hour backcountry hike across volcanic alpine terrain, to a broad, shallow lake set amongst beech forest and tussock. Waterfalls and bluffs compliment the backdrop of Mount Ruapehu along the journey, which after a period of open rocky country, descends into Mangaturuturu Valley beside a beautiful cascade flowing over smooth bedrock.

caution: can be slippery in wet or icy conditions and in winter only attempt if you have the essential winter hiking gear, or hire a guide.

Shortly after passing the Mangaturuturu Hut, you will need to use caution in crossing the unbridged Mangaturuturu River, then climb steadily up from the river valley to eventually find yourself at the pristine and aptly named Lake, Surprise. This track required unassisted river crossings, for in-depth information on the route and safety guides, please contact DOC.

Lake Surprise hike - Visit Ruapehu.jpg

The Ohakune Old Coach Road

Take a trip back into New Zealand's rail heritage while you walk an old coach road. The road was used to carry passengers and goods between two railheads on the North Island main trunk link before they were linked in 1908. It is an easy 15km one-way walk that will take around 5 hrs if you allow time for lunch. The journey will take you through some beautiful stands of native forest with sweeping views across the district and not to forget a walk on the wild side across the old viaduct bridge above the lush bush below. 

The Ohakune Old Coach Road can be walked from either Horopito or Ohakune but because Horopito is about 500 feet higher than Ohakune it is easier to walk downhill from Horopito. A number of operators in the region will be able to drop you in Horopito if you wish.

Viaduct on Ohakune Old Coach Road with TCB.jpg

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