In the heart of the North Island, Ruapehu’s two national parks and surrounding countryside provide a beautiful backdrop to many outdoor adventures.
New Zealand’s oldest national park and a Unesco World Heritage site for both its cultural and natural values, Tongariro National Park is a volcanic wonderland of steaming craters, surreal lakes and strange rock forms, surrounded by alpine gardens. Its centrepiece is Mt Ruapehu – the North Island’s highest peak. This sits alongside the smaller but no less striking cones of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro.
Taking in many of the national park’s most spectacular sights, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing has justifiably made this place famous, but there are plenty of other hiking trails ranging from short nature trails to multi-day. In winter, Mt Ruapehu’s snowy flanks transform into ski areas.
To the west is Whanganui National Park, a remote and tranquil wilderness rich in natural and human history. Canoe journeys and jet boat trips on the Whanganui River take visitors deep into its folds, revealing mysteries and marvels such as the lonely Bridge to Nowhere.
Some of New Zealand’s best mountain biking trails traverse Ruapehu’s amazing landscapes.
Some of The Many Attractions
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an unforgettable walking journey.
Often described as New Zealand's greatest day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape.
You can walk the track in either direction, but the more popular option begins at Mangatepopo Valley.
Mountain Bike Trails
The Mountains to Sea epic mountain biking adventure traverses the alpine majesty of Mount Ruapehu, historic roads, massive viaducts and the legendary Bridge to Nowhere in the wilds of Whanganui National Park.
The Timber Trail is a truly spectacular two-day adventure through Pureora Forest Park. Showcasing ancient forest, native birdlife, graceful suspension bridges and intriguing timber history, it’s also a chance to savour an overnight stay in a wilderness lodge or campsite.
The 42 Traverse is a challenging day ride is an old-school Kiwi MTB classic, with plenty of ruts, rocks and river crossings to test your fitness and skill. But it’s not all about the bike. Traversing a State Forest on the edge of Tongariro National Park, it offers some pretty awesome views across to the trio of volcanoes.
North Island Skiing
The Central North Island is home to New Zealand's only skiable volcano, Mt Ruapehu.
A landscape of golden tussock, tumbling rivers and three awe-inspiring mountains, dual World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park is an incredible place for winter snow sports.
The action centres on Mt Ruapehu, the North Island’s highest mountain. Two of its three ski areas – Whakapapa and Tūroa – are the largest in New Zealand, and boast some of the country’s longest ski runs with volcanic features and vast views.
Prizes generously donated by tourism operators from this area that you could win!
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Check out the Tourism New Zealand website for more information about the amazing things to see and do in New Zealand