Kia Ora. Welcome to Ruapehu

Lake Surprise

This captivating trail takes hikers on a scenic adventure through lush native forests, across rugged volcanic landscapes, and alongside pristine alpine streams.

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.