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  2. Things to see and do
  3. Walking & Hiking
  4. 2-5 Hour Walks

2-5 Hour Walks

Wanting to venture a little further? Check out these more challenging walks in Ruapehu.

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Taranaki Falls
Starting just below the Whakapapa Visitor Centre at Whakapapa Village this popular 2 hour return loop track is a relatively easy hike.  The Taranaki Falls are located around half way and cascade over the edge of an impressive 15,000 year old lava flow. 

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Lake Surprise
15km up the Ohakune Mountain Road begins a 5 hour backcountry hike across volcanic alpine terrain, to a broad, shallow lake set amongst beech forest and tussock. Waterfalls and bluffs complement 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

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 Ngauruhoe. 

Tupapakurua Falls
The Tuapakurua Falls walks is 4 hr – 5 hr return via same track beginning at Fishers Road, National Park Village. The first hour from National Park Village is along a four-wheel drive track before entering the Erua Forest and reaching the Taranaki Lookout. Delve further into the forest where you’ll face a few climbs and small stream crossings to the Tupapakurua Falls lookout. A really beautiful hike, the walk through the forest is stunning.

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. 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.    


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