Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park 4691, New Zealand
Tongariro Alpine Crossing- New Zealand's Best One Day Hike
1 day walk (7-8 hours) 19.4km.
Known widely as 'The Best One Day Alpine Hike' in New Zealand, The Tongariro Crossing really is very special. From lava strewn valleys and very active volcanic vents to boiling springs and crystal lakes. Lunar like landscapes mixed with thick podocarp forest give this hike some amazing and diverse beauty. The steep climb from the Mangaetepopo saddle alongside Mt Ngauruhoe is rewarded by views of Tongariro and on a clear day, Mt Taranaki to the west.
Although only a one day hike, The Crossing does have a cruel side to its spectacular and harsh scenery and therefore like any alpine tramp you must be prepared for this hikes deceptively quick and severe weather changes. November through May is the normal season for the hike.
The Tongariro Crossing is truly a must do for vistors to New Zealand and kiwis alike. This hike can also be done on the good days in Winter with an experienced guide.
Mountain Heights Lodge can arrange transport to and from The Crossing and if required, an experienced guide can also be arrange.
Kaitieke Road, Raurimu
Ruapehu Adventure Rides is located 10 minutes away in Raurimu. They will take you on a guided Quad bike adventure through farm & bush tracks with some beautiful scenic views. Great fun on sunny days & even more fun on the wet days.
Bruce Road, Whakapapa
There are a number of enjoyable walks in the Ruapehu Region other than the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. They range from a 30 minute walk to several days hiking around the mountain.
Whichever walk you choose to do, please ensure you have layers of clothing (including waterproofs), good hiking shoes & plenty of water & food, as the weather can change very quickly in the mountains at any time of the year.
Northern Circuit - 2 night, 3 day trek
Crater Lake - 5 - 7 hrs, best done with a guide
Silica Rapids - 2-3 hours, 7km track
Whakapapanui River Walk - 2 hours
Round the Mountain Track - 4 - 6 day trek
Taranaki Falls - 2 hours loop track
Tama Lakes - 5-6 hours, 17 km return
Tawhai Falls - 30 minutes, return on same track
Lake Rotopounamu - 2 hours, 5km loop track
Tupapakurua Falls - allow up to 5 hours from National Park Village (track starts up Fisher Road from National Park Village)
National Park Village
Enjoy one of the many lovely rides that the area is renowned for. The 42 Traverse is a mountain bike ride through State Forest 42, and is one of the premier MTB rides in New Zealand. Renowned for the long and often rutted down hills, it will test even the most ardent Kamikaze rider. The track surface varies from gravel to mud, some stream crossings, and with all good things there is normally some bad and yes it is true there is the inevitable uphill. The scenery is absolutely spectacular – from wide vistas of all three Volcanoes to lush unspoiled bush. This is a very unique track as you can either enjoy the magnificent beauty with your family on a more relaxed and peaceful outing or push the boundaries with your friends!
Fishers Track is another popular ride, winding through native bush & farmland with spectacular views of the volcanoes & best of all 95% of the ride is downhill.
The Old Coach Road is a recently restored route between Horopito & Ohakune. It takes you through farmland & forest on a route once used before the railway was completed. You will pass historical sites where railway workers would camp & the remnants of the Taonui & Hapuawhenua viaducts. This track is 15km long.
Marton Sash & Door Trails. This is a 16km Loop track that starts from National Park Village, takes you along the railway line, then through private wetland & into native forest. You will be travelling along part of an old tramway, that has been rediscovered & cleared by volunteers in recent years. the route takes you out to Cuffs road & then back to the village along side the main rail track.
Mountain Air Volcanic Flights
Why not view the volcanic plateau from a completely different position & see everything from the air. Flights can be taken for 15 mins over Mt Tongariro & it's craters & lakes, or up to 35 minutes which will take you over the amazing landscape of all three volcanoes.
95 Atirau road, Turangi
Tongariro River Rafting
Whether winter or summer or the seasons in between, you can have some great fun with a guided rafting trip down the Tongariro River.
Tongariro River Rafting is based in Turangi & can take you on a more gently adventure down quieter waters or really get the adrenalin working on grade 3 rapids. They provide polar fleece, wetsuits, all safety equipment, tea & coffee. If you are brave enough to tackle the waters in winter they also keep you warm with soup & bread & a soak in the local thermal pools at the end of your trip.
Skiing & Snowboarding - NZs Biggest Ski Area
Mt Ruapehu is home to the north island's only two commercial ski areas, Whakapapa and Turoa, and provides a unique skiing experience in that it is an active volcano and part of a dual World Heritage Area. Both ski areas have fully sealed access roads and world class facilities, including licensed cafes, retail stores, equipment hire and ski schools. The terrain at both ski areas is varied and vast, making them suitable for all ability levels and you can access both ski areas with one lift pass.
20 mins drive from National Park Village is NZs largest, most developed ski area. Within the 600 acre boundary, there are a myriad of options that cater for beginners right through to advanced skiers out to challenge their limits. There's a dedicated beginners facility called Happy Valley families and beginners can get started while the more advanced can venture further up the mountain to explore the many groomed trails.
Whakapapa has recently made some huge investments in new lift facilities & technology which allows snow making even in warm temperatures. This will allow for a much longer season for fun in the snow.
Turoa Ski Field
Turoa Ski Area on the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu has Australasia's longest vertical descent and NZs highest lift. Located 17km up the Mountain Road from Ohakune, Turoa has skiing terrain suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced - a 120m long carpet lift caters to beginners in Alpine Meadow while the natural terrain provides amazing big mountain riding for advanced skiers and boarders.