Mt Ruapehu

Visit Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro, NZ

Tongariro Crossing Travel & Holiday Travel Information

Mount Ruapehu, Tongarriro  a large active volcano, is the highest point in the North Island, reaching 2,797 m (9,177 feet). The mountain dominates the Central Plateau, along with its two neighbours, Mts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.  Driving times

Mount Ruapehu is New Zealand's largest skiing and snowboarding area, and is home to Whakapapa, Turoa & Tukino ski areas and ski resorts. 

Hiking in the Tongariro National Park, Tongariro crossing,  climbing and mountain biking are popular in summer. Nearby rivers provide opportunities for kayaking and white-water rafting adventures.

Safety is an important consideration within this high-altitude wilderness area, where weather conditions can change suddenly. It is recommended to hike with professional  Tour guides, or seek safety advice before venturing alone into the mountains.


Mt Ruapehu - North Island Ski Areas

  • Whakapapa

  • Turoa

The ski season runs from mid June to early October depending on snow fall.

Follow these links to New Zealand Ski Itineraries including the Mt Ruapehu/Tongariro National Park region:

Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas are typically open from late June to late October each year. Both areas have chair lifts, ski and snowboard hire, children’s facilities, and snow schools.

Accommodation at Mt Ruapehu and Holiday Travel Information (NZ)

Whakapapa Village, on the western slope of Mount Ruapehu, is the main area of accommodation within the National Park. The village has a number of ski lodges and a holiday park that offers cabin or campground accommodation.

Whakapapa is also the site of Chateau Tongariro, a large hotel built in 1929. The Chateau, with its luxury and accommodation and fine dining, is a popular location for romantic occasions such as weddings and honeymoons.

Accommodation in the area is at a premium during summer holidays at the winter ski season. Other alternative locations for accommodation near the mountains are at Turangi, National Park Village, and Ohakune, near Ruapehu’s southern ski field, Turoa.

Transport around Mount Ruapehu

Road transport by rental vehicle or cycle is a relatively easy journey on good highways from the north, south and west

Railway and national coach services stop daily at National Park Village, just 15 minutes’ drive from Whakapapa. Shuttle transport into the national park for hiking or skiing is available from National Park and Whakapapa. Some services transport mountain bikes and riders to and from the start and end of popular trails

Mt Ruapehu Tourist Activities

In a typical year, Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas are open from late June to late October each year. Both areas have chair lifts, ski and snowboard hire, children’s facilities, and snow schools.

The Alpine Crossing one-day hiking track across the summit of Mount Tongariro is one of the Park’s most acclaimed walks, offering close-up views of huge craters, coloured mineral pools, hot springs and boiling mud-pools. This is a challenging walk of xx hours. Inexperienced trampers are recommended to join a guided walking party, such as those run by the Department of Conservation in the summer months.

Shorter, less challenging walks include several around the lower slopes of Ruapehu, through broken volcanic landscape with waterfalls and small lakes, alpine meadows, and subalpine forests. Longer walks also include the 3-day Tongariro Circuit.

Mountain biking trails around the park including “The 42 Traverse,” a 46 kilometre trail with long downhill sections, regarded as one of NZ’s premier MTB trails.

The rivers around the central plateau offer some of New Zealand’s best trout fishing. It is possible to join a guided fishing party, or try your luck with rented gear at a location of your choice.

Kayaking, rafting, and jet boat expeditions on the Tongariro and Whanganui Rivers offer a different perspective to the alpine view, winding amongst thickly forested ravines and canyons, open stretches and white water.

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Mt Ruapehu