Ruapehu is home to many walking and hiking opportunities, including the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Explore emerald lakes and alpine meadows on an 18-kilometre adventure through Tongariro National Park. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is New Zealand's most popular single-day hike and is known for its spectacular mountain views and surreal volcano craters.
There are plenty of shorter hikes and walks found in Taumarunui, Whakapapa Village, Ohakune and Raetihi. Some of the most popular walks include Taranaki Falls, Silica Rapids, Lake Surprise, Waitonga Falls and Mangawhero Forest Walk. There’s also hiking trails galore amidst the nearby Kaimanawa Forest Park.
The Mt Ruapehu Crater Climb is also one of the best one-day guided hikes you can do. Starting at Whakapapa ski area, take the chairlift to 2020 meters above sea level past ancient lava flows that have been carved out by glaciation in the last 300,000 years. Hike to Restful Ridge (about 2 hours) where the Ruapehu Crater Lake can be viewed.
If you're after something longer, the Tongariro Northern Circuit - one of New Zealand's Great Walks - is a 3-4 day hike that encircles the entire park itself. Take in two of the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe and trek through a vast range of landscapes from herb fields and forest to desert like plateaus.