Ruapehu Attractions

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Volcano adventures, luxury escapes and historical gems - they're all waiting for you in the Ruapehu region.

Hiking, Ruapehu

Von Legend Photography

The plateau rest stop at the highest point of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a chance to grab a snack and take in the stunning scenery.

Volcano adventures

The rugged, unusual landscape attracts adventurers of every kind. Don't miss these activities in Ruapehu.

  • Often called the best one-day walk in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a strenuous 17 kilometre hike past Mount Ngauruhoe and over Mount Tongariro. The lunar-like landscape features active volcanic areas, emerald crater lakes and panoramic views. There's also the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand, which is 41 kilometres and takes three to four days. The first day follows the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
  • Whakapapa on Mount Ruapehu is New Zealand's biggest and busiest ski fields. It has a total of 550 hectares of ski area, with another 400 hectares of lift-accessible terrain.
  • Turoa skifield, on the southern side of Mount Ruapehu, is called 'The Giant'. It offers 500 hectares of skiing and another 400 hectares of back country.
  • Sharpen your climbing skills on ice and rock faces.
  • Explore the hidden valleys of the region by horseback or on a quad bike tour. 
  • Mountain bike the famous 42 Traverse. Descend 570 metres through the Tongariro Forest Park over old bush tracks.
  • Abandoned logging tracks in the Rangataua Forest, provide miles of mountain biking fun.
  • The Ohakune Mountain Road is great to cycle in summer - all downhill and the views are wicked.
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Chateau Tongariro, Ruapehu

Von Rob Suisted

Bayview Chateau Tongariro lies in the foothills of huge Mount Ruapehu.

Relaxation and luxury

Exclusive lodges, golf courses, scenic flights and hot pools set the scene for rest and rejuvenation in the Ruapehu region. 

  • Lodges like the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and Grand Chateau provide a luxury base for skiing and hiking.
  • Enjoy a game of golf on one of the region's all weather courses. Outstanding views and no queues.
  • Drive the Ohakune Mountain Road - an extraordinarily scenic road that winds up through native bush to Turoa Ski Resort. One feature of the road is the stratification of the vegetation.
  • Charter a scenic flight and climb into the sky for the grandest views of the mountains, or take in the majestic Whanganui River from the air.
  • Hire a guide and go fly fishing in one of New Zealand's finest trout fisheries, the Whakapapa River.
  • Feeling adventurous? Rev yourself up for a quad bike tour - either scenic or exhilarating.
  • Soak in the hot pools at nearby Tokaanu.
  • Take a drive to the northern Ruapehu area to explore the scenery of the Forgotten World Highway, stopping at the fragrant Lauren's Lavendar Farm on the way. 
Northern Explorer on bridge, Ruapehu

Von KiwiRail Scenic

One of the many viaducts and bridges the Northern Explorer crosses, including the Raurimu Spiral.


A railway line and a military museum may sound ordinary, but the ones you'll find in Ruapehu region are true historical gems.

  • Ride the Raurimu Spiral, an internationally recognised engineering achievement built to negotiate a 215 metre escarpment on the North Island Main Trunk Railway. Railway enthusiasts come from all over the world to see it.
  • Visit the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum at Waiouru. It contains important relics from the New Zealand Land Wars and life-sized scenes of kiwi servicemen during major wars of the 20th century. 

Where to next?

Lake Taupo →

Taranaki →

Whanganui →