The Ruapehu region is defined by three volcanoes and the Tongariro World Heritage Park. Mt Ruapehu the largest of the three, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro.The walks in the area are spectacular with the world renown Tongariro Crossing which is a on... Show More
Tourist Information About Mt Ruapehu & Tongariro
The Ruapehu region is defined by three volcanoes and the Tongariro World Heritage Park. Mt Ruapehu the largest of the three, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro.The walks in the area are spectacular with the world renown Tongariro Crossing which is a one day hike across alpine meadows to mountain summit and a surreal landscape of craters, coloured lakes and volcanic rock.For mountain bikers, there are two NZ Cycle Trail Network Trails and several smaller cycle trails rich in native landscape and history. The area is popular for hunting, trout fishing and the two main North Island ski fields are found here.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Mt Ruapehu and Tongariro
1. Dinosaur House Museum
An exciting indoor activity has to be this mind-blowing Dinosaur Museum. Raetihi's Dinosaur House holds New Zealand's largest collection of privately owned dinosaur skeletons, fossils and life-size models.
2. Silica Rapids Walk
The Silica Rapids Walk is a 7km, 2 1/2 hour loop that takes in some of Tongariro National Park's most intriguing and colorful natural wonders. It is accessible from the road that leads to the Whakapapa ski slope. Multicolored streams burble alongside the well-formed route as they run through alpine tussock. Deeper yet, in the heart of the beech forest, you'll encounter gushing waterfalls that are almost luridly bright with mineral deposits.
3. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing crosses a surreal, ever-changing volcanic terrain and is one of New Zealand's greatest outdoor experiences. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the country's most popular day hikes. Tongariro National Park is a dual-status World Heritage Site, as it has been recognised for both its ecological and cultural significance.
If you have a day to be filled in - this has to be one of the most memorable options.
4. The Bridge to Nowhere
This iconic concrete bridge is a foundation of a spectacular journey, a testament to pioneer spirit and broken hopes stranded deep in Whanganui National Park. Choose from a day trip on a jet boat, a kayak journey down the Whanganui River, or a ride down the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail to the bridge.
The Bridge to Nowhere is now more popular than it was when it was initially constructed. It is Whanganui National Park's unofficial flagship and a prominent visitor destination along the Whanganui Journey, one of New Zealand's Great Walks.
5. Chateau Tongariro
High tea at the majestic Chateau Tongariro Hotel transports you to the timeless elegance of the 1930s. While admiring the breathtaking views of Tongariro National Park, snack on small cakes and savories, then take a short walk outdoors to explore the vast view.
6. Taranaki Falls Walk
Taranaki Falls is one of the most impressive and accessible waterfalls in Tongariro National Park.
Walk alongside the beautiful Wairere Stream, which features flowing waterfalls and ice-worn rocks. While the crystal blue pools appear inviting, they are cold all year since they are fed primarily by snow runoff.
The trail to the falls starts in Whakapapa Village and takes you through open alpine tussock or lovely beech woodland, depending on which end of the 6km, two-hour circle you start at.
7. Ride the Sky Waka
The absolutely incredible Sky Waka gondola is Mount Ruapehu's newest attraction. The Sky Waka replaces both of Whakapapa's primary first and second chair lifts for a fast and weatherproof journey to the top, transporting both skiers and sightseers from Whakapapa's main base at Top of the Bruce to the newly renovated café and restaurant at Knoll Ridge Chalet perched 2020m above sea level. The Sky Waka can transport 2,400 people each hour, traveling 1.8 kilometers up the mountain in just five minutes. Although, you'll want it to last longer as the view on the way up is breathtaking!
8. The Timber Trail
This rewarding Great Ride takes you deep into Pureora Forest Park. Ancient woodland, native birds, exquisite suspension bridges, and intriguing timber industry remnants are among the highlights, while midway lodgings and camping provide opportunities to re-energize and enjoy the peace.
9. Tawhai Falls
The rocky forest cascades with a pool for swimming, used as a filming location for “Lord of the Rings.”. You can't skip this iconic walk, its beginner level and the waterfall is nice and easy to get to.
10. Ohakune Old Coach Road
While walking or cycling along old coach roads, immerse yourself in New Zealand's rail history. Before they were united in 1908, the route was used to transport passengers and goods between two railheads on the North Island main trunk link. This beautiful multi-terrain cycling and walking road is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail and offers a superb family-friendly ride with a rich history. The 15-kilometer trail runs through the calm canopy of Mount Ruapehu's lower slopes, providing a rare opportunity to enter one of the North Island's few surviving portions of pristine native forest.