Visit Raetihi, Tongariro, NZ

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  • Raetihi, to the south-west of Tongariro National Park was a centre of logging and sawmilling from the late 19th Century through to the 1950s. Today its economy depends on a mixture of cattle farming, vegetable growing, plantation forestry and tourism.

    Ohakune, within easy reach of the Turoa ski area is a short 15 minute drive north-east of Raetihi. The coastal city of Whanganui is about one hour’s drive to the south east.

    The road south from Raetihi meets the Whanganui River at Pipiriki, where tours by kayak, raft and jet boat are available.

    Skiing from Raetihi

    Driving from Raetihi to Turoa and Whakapapa Skifield takes about 30 minutes.

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


    Accommodation in Raetihi (NZ)

    Raetihi has a good range of accommodation options, including motor lodges, bed & breakfast establishments,  lodges and holiday homes for rent. There is also backpacker accommodation.

    Transport around Raetihi

    A branch railway line from Ohakune was closed in 1968, due to decline in population and industry. Today, the town is reached only by main highways to the north and south.

    Taxi and shuttle services at Raetihi provide transport around the immediate area and to attractions such as Mount Ruapehu and the Whanganui River.

    Tourist Activities around Raetihi

    Some pleasant walks and cycling trails local to the town include the Makotuku River and Old Coach Road trails. The national park area to the north has a further range of options for hikers and bikers, including multi-day trips.

    The Whanganui, described in the 19th Century as “the Rhine of the south,” winds through forested hills, pasture lands and gorges. Its incredible beauty has always attracted tourism. Today, river adventures by kayak and jet boat operate from Pipiriki, 25 km south of Raetihi.

    Raetihi is a conveniently located close to Mount Ruapehu’s two ski areas. For après ski, there is a choice of restaurants, bars and cafes.

    The Waimarino Museum at Raetihi offers glimpse into the town’s once-thriving timber industry, including the “great fire” of 1918 that destroyed hundreds of buildings.

    Any railway or engineering enthusiast should not miss seeing the Raurimu Spiral, 30 minutes drive north of Raetihi. It is an ingenious system of tunnels and a circling viaduct, regarding as a masterpiece of 19th Century civil engineering. More of the region’s railway history can be learned at Ohakune’s Railway Museum.

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