Probably the most accessible track in Ohakune, this scenic riverside walkway will take you from the Junction end of Ohakune to the town proper, also presenting the option to link up to the Jubilee Walkway. Following the natural meander of the Mangawhero river, the well-maintained track makes the most of the beautiful waterway with an easy, family friendly walk. The swing bridge over the river at the halfway point makes for a fun landmark and gives the option to cut the track shorter if those little legs are getting tired. Pushing on however can be worth it, as the southern half of the walkway pops in and out of the light forest to reveal picturesque swimming holes.
Winding through dense native forest on the lower slopes of Mount Ruapehu, the well-maintained Mangawhero forest walk is an absolute must-do for nature lovers. The track is a near loop, heading uphill at first for 1.5km to a campground clearing suitable for picnics, then over the Mangawhero river bridge to gently stroll back down through the bush on the opposite side of the mountain road. For a full look at the Ohakune circuit, you can connect up with the northern end of the Mangawhero river walk, then follow the Jubilee Walkway, linking the three trails all the way from mountain to township. Cutting away at the base of the Mangawhero Forest walk, the Rimu Walkway is a beautiful 15-minute side loop suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Waitonga Falls Track
11kms out of Ohakune up the Ohakune Mountain Road sits this gem of a track for all levels of fitness with a return journey of just over 4kms. The 39 m Waitonga Falls is Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall. The well-formed track passes through mountain beech and kaikawaka forest and stunning views of Mount Ruapehu are enjoyed whilst walking along the alpine walkway. There are some steps to master coming back up from the waterfall but it's well worth the effort. Go to the Department of Conservation for full details.
Anchored by the Giant Carrot at the Southeastern end of Ohakune township, the Jubilee Walkway winds its way through native bush, making an easy 20-minute stroll. Suitable for all ages, the track follows the Mangateitei Stream through a beautiful scenic reserve to finish at Burns Street at the southwestern end of town. You can easily link up with the southern end of the Mangawhero River Walkway and add the riverside walk up to the base of the mountain road.
Nestled in Raetihi the 4km walkway along the Mākōtuku River starts about 300m north of the Garage, situated on the main intersection, and takes you on a short scenic journey through native bush and beautiful garden. It consists of two loops and is also dog-friendly. This peaceful picturesque walk is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Located just outside of Ohakune is this dog-friendly loop track that is meant for walking and mountain biking. The track is around the perimeter of the lake, which can be swum in if you're keen and is surrounded by lush native bush.