Visit Taumarunui, Tongariro, NZ

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  • Taumarunui is a large central North Island town at the headwaters of the Whanganui River, about 30 minutes’ drive north of National Park, or 50 minutes west of Turangi. It is popular as a starting point for river journeys and tours by kayak, raft and jet boat.

    Taumarunui has a long period of Maori occupation, located near once-existing forests of giant totara trees, which were used to make the large Maori waka taua, or war-party canoes. These forests were felled by European settlers for the timber trade and to open up the land for farming.

    Prior the completion of the main trunk railway line in 1908, the Whanganui River was Taumarunui’s main trade route, and was plied by boats and canoes of all description. Long-abandoned settlements along the river are visited for their historic interest.

    Skiing near Taumarunui

    Mt Ruapehu is the closest ski area to Taumarunui. Driving from Taumarunui to the Tongariro National Park (Ruapehu) takes about 45 minutes.

    Mt Ruapehu - North Island Ski Areas - Opening Dates 2014

    Dates are subject to weather & snow conditions

    • Whakapapa - 28 June 2014
    • Turoa - 28 June 2014 

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


    Accommodation in Taumarunui (NZ)

    Taumarunui has a good range of accommodation options, include a hotel, motels and B&Bs, a holiday parks/camping grounds, backpackers, holiday homes to rent, and farm-stay accommodation.

    Transport around Taumarunui

    Taumarunui is four hours’ drive from Wellington and 3 ½ hours from Auckland.

    National coach services operate through Taumarunui daily. In addition, and Auckland-Wellington rail service calls at Taumarunui daily. The line south of Taumarunui is considered one of NZs most spectacular railway experiences, as it descends in altitude through mountain and rivers using tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

    For shorter journeys within the region, there are local coach and taxi services, as well as mountain bike rental.

    Tourist Activities around Taumarunui

    River tours by kayak, raft or jet boat are Taumarunui’s most popular tourist activities, with tours ranging from half a day to three days duration.

    Hiking and mountain biking in a number of easily-accessible wilderness areas are also popular.

    There are many opportunities around Taumarunui for trout fishing and for hunting wild animals such as deer, boar and goat. Fishing and hunting guides and lodges are to be found in suitable areas near the town.

    Any railway or engineering enthusiast should not miss seeing the Raurimu Spiral, a complex system of tunnels and a circling viaduct that was regarding as a masterpiece of late 19th Century civil engineering.

    Taumarunui’s 18-hole golf course is regarding as one of New Zealand’s best, offering beautiful views.

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