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  3. Must Do's in Ruapehu

Must Do's in Ruapehu

We know time is limited and with so much variety on offer, we’ve come up with a few suggestions that we think are must do’s during your stay in Ruapehu.

Walking and Hiking 

Tongariro Alpine Crossing - Rated as one of the best one day hikes in New Zealand, a genuine wonder of the natural world, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the crown jewel of Ruapehu for well prepared and experienced hikers. If you are not confident of your ability and fitness please consider a guide or one of the other hikes in the region.

Time: 5 - 8 hr Distance: 19.4 km

Tama Lakes - A popular alternative to the better known Tongariro Alpine Crossing, A day walk in the stunning surrounds of Tongariro National Park. 

Time: 5 - 6 hr return. Distance: 17 km

The Ohakune Old Coach Road - Take a trip back into New Zealand's rail heritage while you walk an old coach road.

Time: approx 5 hrs one way allowing time for lunch. Distance: 17 km

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Ridge line by Upper Tama Lakes


Ohakune Old Coach Road Riding along historic cobblestone, through a bush corridor near the slopes of Mount Ruapehu makes for a fun family friendly adventure and an interesting journey back in time. 

Average Time: 2-3 hours Distance: 15kms Grade: 2

The Timber Trail Experience the feeling of being suspended in time, as you begin your ride along the Timber Trail. One of New Zealand's 22 Great Rides boasting some of the highest and longest suspension bridges in New Zealand, the Timber Trail weaves its way through ancient forest, across ancestral lands of local Māori Tribes, and along part of the historic Ongarue Tramway.

Average Time: 2 days Distance: 15kms Grade: 2

Fishers Track - Fishers Track is a downhill track with stunning views over the Tongariro National Park.  

Average Time: 2-3 hours Distance: 27kms Grade 2

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The Timber Trail, Pureora Forest Park

Skiing and Snowboarding 

Mt Ruapehu has two premier ski fields  to choose from – Whakapapa and Tūroa - that boast magnificent areas for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

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Whakapapa Ski Field, Mt Ruapehu


National Army Museum -  Make a visit to New Zealand’s most comprehensive Army Museum for access to a unique collection of military exhibits, memorabilia and public research material. A place where families can seek out and relate to their military connections.

Forgotten World Adventures  - Forgotten World Adventures provide RailCart tours along the decommissioned railway line of the Forgotten World Highway. Learn of a history unique to New Zealand and share a story and experience that belongs to everyone.

Bridge to Nowhere - The Bridge to Nowhere is these days accessed by several different methods and all ages and fitness levels can put this on the to do list. 

forgotten world adventures

Forgotten World Adventures Rail Cart, Taumarunui


Taranaki Falls One of the most impressive and beautiful New Zealand waterfalls, Taranaki Falls is located in Tongariro National Park. The waterfall is accompanied by unforgeable views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngāuruhoe and Mt Tongariro, and fantastic walk through the beech forest.

Time: 2 hr return Distance: 6 kms 

Tawhai FallsTawhai Falls is 13 metre high waterfall located in Tongariro National Park and the filming location of Gollum's pool.

Time: 20 min return Distance: 4 kms

Waitonga FallsThe 39 m Waitonga Falls is Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall. The well-formed track passes through mountain beech and kaikawaka forest and takes in spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu.  

Time: 1hr 20mins return Distance: 4 kms

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Taranaki Falls, photo credit TNZ

Take some time

Proudly home to both the Tongariro National Park and the Whanganui National Park make sure you give yourself some time to switch off and enjoy the stunning gift of nature around you in the Ruapehu region. Listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh alpine air, take in the volcanic masterpieces around you. Grab yourself a world class coffee and fresh local cuisine to accompany the moment. 

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