When Peter and I moved here from Auckland in January, it was assumed by many that we were here for the skiing. How wrong could they be....
Here are four great reasons to come and stay in Ohakune.
The Old Coach Road Cycle Way
Peter and I cycled this track last year and it was such a fun thing to do. Its 18kms long and you can start at either end. We opted to hire bikes and the operator dropped us for a small fee at the beginning of the trail at the Horopito end. You can start at the Horopito or Ohakune end, or cycle there and back however we opted for one-way hence the transport needed. Cycling in this direction also has a slight downward slope which was much more to my liking!!
We were familiar with the track having walked part of it on many occasions so whilst we didn't amble, we didn't go at break neck speed either. Two and a half hours later we prised our fingers off the handle bars and fell about laughing. We had had an awesome morning.
The Tongariro Crossing
Touted as the world's best one day walk, we accomplished this for the first time on our very first visit to Ohakune - way before we ever contemplated moving to the area and buying Ruapehu Country Lodge.
We stayed locally and caught a shuttle to the beginning of the Crossing. Again, the views spectacular, the walk - challenging, and an unforgettable experience. Of the many guests that we have hosted at Ruapehu Country Lodge so far, probably around 80% have gone to do the crossing and not one regret amongst them.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts operate their chairlift over summer from Whakapapa. Peter and I have done this outing many times - pretty much every time friends and family come to visit for the first time (they always come back). It's a mere 30-minute drive around the mountain and the two chair lifts needed to get to the top takes about 30 minutes. I even took my Mum up there when she visited. She is a bit unstable on her feet and the staff helped her get on and off each chair and were fabulous. At the top is a cafe which is the highest in New Zealand and is situated in the most amazing building. It's a piece of architecture in itself. Hot chocolate and a muffin are a must at this point. On a clear day you can see forever. It's exhilarating!!
Walking and hiking
There are a multitude of bush walks and short hikes in the area. You can spend days exploring them and there are walks for every ability. We haven't done them all yet - slowly slowly!!
Ohakune is also a great base to explore the wider region. The Whanganui River is only a 30-minute drive away and there are some great day trips to be had there. Whanganui (town) is just 1 hour 10 minutes away, Taupo an hour 30 minutes away, Palmerston North 2 hours away.
So all in all, Ohakune is a great place to be and Ruapehu Country Lodge will continue to host guests wanting to explore the area.
Oh ... and there is great skiing in winter.
And that was way more than four reasons!!