Kia Ora. Welcome to Ruapehu

Round the Mountain Track

Discover the Round the Mountain Track: a captivating adventure weaving through the majestic landscapes of Ruapehu. Embark on a journey through rugged beauty, where every step unveils the splendor of New Zealand's Ruapehu region.

This multi day walk follows widely diverse terrain around the mountain, showcasing the full spectrum of varied volcanic landscapes and alpine vegetation on the flanks of Mount Ruapehu. As a four to six day hike, there are six huts with campsites available for overnight stays: Waihohonu, Rangipo, Mangaehuehu, Blyth, Mangaturuturu and Whakapapaiti. Waihohonu Hut and Campsite require advance booking in the Great Walks season, outside the Great Walks season, it is first come, first served.

The other huts and campsites are first come, first served all year round. From lush river valleys, to alpine peaks, rocky plateaus to a volcanic desert, the round the mountain track is a must for for any serious hiker. Landmarking with the huts along the way, the track can be broken into up to six parts: Whakapapa Village to Waihohonu Hut; Waihohonu Hut to Rangipo Hut; Rangipo Hut to Mangaehuehu Hut; Mangaehuehu Hut to Ohakune Mountain Road; Ohakune Mountain Road to Mangaturuturu Hut; Mangaturuturu Hut to Whakapapaiti Hut; and Whakapapaiti Hut to Whakapapa Village. 

For an in depth trail description of this Great Walk, go to the DOC site.

Walking options 

The Round the Mountain Track offers flexibility in direction, with this guide focusing on the clockwise route. When planning your journey, take into account recent or projected rainfall, especially regarding river crossings which are not bridged. Additionally, you have the option to tackle segments of the track over 2 or 3 days, such as the stretch between Whakapapa Village and Ohakune Mountain Road on either side of Ruapehu. Shuttle services are available to facilitate this.

Walking the Round the Mountain Track

Day 1 Whakapapa Village > Waihohonu Hut

 Follow the track as is leads through tussock and shrubland to the Wairere Stream. Pass through tranquil mountain beech forest to the base of the Taranaki Falls. From here wind your way upwards to the Tama Saddle. before descending to Waihohonu Hut for the night.

5 hours 30 min walking 

Day 2 Waihohonu Hut > Rangipo Hut

Today's track leads through the North Island's only true desert and one of the most unique landscapes in the park. Explore wind sculptured sands, stark volcanic and stunning mountain views as you traverse the eastern side of Ruapehu on the way to Rangipo Hut.

5 hours walking

Day 3 Rangipo Hut > Mangaehuehu Hut

Leave the desert lands of Rangipo behind as the track returns to picturesque mountain beech forest. Along the way the trail crosses the magnificent Waihianoa Gorge, a giant fissure through the volcanic landscape.

5 hours 30 min walking

Day 4 Mangaehuehu Hut > Mangaturuturu Hut

Weave through alpine tussock and beech forest as you make your way downhill from Mangahuehu Hut. Along the way the track passes Rotokawa, an alpine tarn featuring several wetland species, tumbling cascades and a lava ridge covered in alpine herbs.

4 hours 30 min walking

Day 5 Mangaturuturu Hut  > Whakapapaiti Hut

Today's walk takes you across the Mangaturuturu River, past lakes and through river valleys. Admire the spectacular waterfalls that tumble down lava bluffs in the Whakapapaiti Valley. 

5 hours 30 min walking

Day 6 Whakapapaiti Hut > Whakapapa Village

Continue down the Whakapapaiti River valley. Travel through groves of native kaikawaka and cabbage trees hidden in the beech forests on your way to Whakapapa village the end of your journey.

2 hours 30 min walking.

Accommodation options

Along the Round the Mountain Track, there are six huts with accompanying campsites: Waihohonu, Rangipo, Mangaehuehu, Blyth, Mangaturuturu, and Whakapapaiti. Advanced booking is necessary for Waihohonu Hut and Campsite during the Great Walks season. Outside of this period, it operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The other huts and campsites follow this protocol throughout the year.

Camping outside designated areas is permitted within the National Park, with exceptions:

  • Within 500 m of the Tongariro Northern Circuit Track, including the segment between Whakapapa and Waihohonu Hut.
  • Within 200 m of the Round the Mountain Track.

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