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27th June 2015
The Junction, Ohakune
Taking place in the après-ski capital of the North Island, Ohakune, the Mt Ruapehu Mountain Mardi Gras in June promises to be a night to remember. With an impressive line-up of New Zealand’s most exciting artists and exhilarating pyrotechnics, a carnival atmosphere is guaranteed.
Celebrating the start of winter and the ski season, the Mardi Gras is the ski party of the year. The whole town gets involved in the event, with street performers, stalls and a laser show.
At 600 metres above sea level and only 1,000 metres from the slopes of Mt Ruapehu, Ohakune is the ideal base for access to the Turoa ski area and the Tongariro National Park. In winter, this typical small New Zealand town is bustling with skiers and snowboarders, who flog there to enjoy its restaurants, bars and cafes after a day’s adventure on the slopes.
Ohakune is not only a winter destination – in summer it is magnet for mountain bikers, who can experience the challenging landscape of the Ruapehu region. Most famous is the Ohakune Old Coach Road, an historic trail that was used by horse drawn coaches in the early 1900s. The recently restored route takes in the lower slopes of Mt Ruapehu and passes many historic sites including the ruins of the Taonui viaduct.
It is impossible to miss the ‘Big Carrot’ at the entrance to the town, recognising the importance of winter crops to the area – supplying produce to the whole of the country. Carrots, parsnips, swedes and potatoes are grown in the market gardens of the Ohakune area, thriving in the rich volcanic soil.
Things to see and do in Ohakune:
- if you’re looking to hit the slopes
- if you want to explore Tongariro National Park
- if you’re wanting to go mountain biking
- if you want to try your hand at snowboarding
- if you’re looking for accommodation
For more information visit ohakunemardigras.co.nz