Long, narrow and sharp, the Ruahine Range is a great place to hike. From the summit ridge the views are extraordinary.
Geologically very young (less than two million years), the Ruahine Range is distinctive because it's narrow and rises very sharply. Most of the range is enclosed within the boundaries of the Ruahine Forest Park, making it a great outdoor playground for people who like to hike.
Ten roads lead into the park. At each road end, a variety of tracks lead up into the ranges. A network of accommodation huts is maintained by the Department of Conservation (DOC). If you plan to stay in one the huts, contact DOC to make a booking.
As you can imagine, the walking tracks in this park are characterised by steep uphill sections. Vegetation changes as the altitude increases - dense forest gradually becomes sub-alpine shrubland, tussock and summer flowering herbfields. The Sunrise Track is one of the most popular hikes in the Ruahine Range. It climbs up through changing forest types to the summit ridge, where you can enjoy superb views of the Hawke's Bay plains. To catch a sunrise, you'll need to stay the night in Sunrise Hut, which is in a tussock basin beside the bush edge. Behind the hut there is a 30 minute route up to the sub-alpine herbfields at Armstrong Saddle - from here it's possible to see Mount Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park.