Skiing and snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu are the most popular activities in our region during winter. But for those who are not into hitting the slopes, there are plenty of other fun things to enjoy near Ruapehu. Here are a few of our favourites:

Whitewater rafting on the Tongariro RiverQuad bike riding with Ruapehu Adventure Rides in RaurimuEnjoy a mulled wine in the warm Tongariro Crossing Lodge guest lounge

Bike ancient native forests

Get on your bike at the lodge and ride directly to two family-friendly mountain bike tracks – the downhill Fishers Track or the Marton Sash & Door loop along a historic bush tramway. Or arrange shuttle to the historic Old Coach Road ride between Horopito to Ohakune.   

Take to the skies

See the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park in all their wintry wonder from the air! Mountain Air offers scenic flights over the park all year round, but seeing the snowy peaks of our mountains from up high is an unforgettable experience.

Go white water rafting

Of course you can go white water rafting in winter! Tongariro River Rafting offers year-round rafting trips on the Tongariro River. They'll wrap you in a polar fleece jersey, splash jacket, wet suit and wet suit boot, so you won't even feel the cold - unless you fall in! You may even spot an endangered and very rare, whio or blue duck.

Ride the Raurimu hills

Experience the adrenaline rush of a quad bike adventure overlooking the Raurimu Spiral and the majestic peaks of Tongariro National Park. Ruapehu Adventure Rides runs all year round in most weather conditions and offers guided self-drive quad bike and buggy tours over farmland, native bush and natural streams. 

Take a putt or stretch a limb

Challenge the family to a game of mini-golf at the Schnapps course up the road or reach for new heights at the indoor climbing centre at the National Park Backpackers.

Go hiking

Many of the shorter hikes in and around Tongariro National Park are still accessible during the winter months. Our favourites include the Tawhai Falls, Taranaki Falls, Silica Rapids, Tupapakurua Falls, Lake Rotopounamu and Waitonga Falls tracks. Depending on recent snowfalls, you even be able to hike up the first section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing up Mangatepopo Valley to Soda Spring. We can advise you on the best options when you arrive.

Soak in thermals pools

Relax in the soothing and therapeutic waters of the Tokaanu Thermal Pools just a short 30 minute drive from our lodge. Enjoy the pools with family and friends. Soothe muscles that have hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing or skied the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. The fascinating thermal area and local history make an ideal educational trip too.

Take in the views over a bite or a drink

Many of our local restaurants and cafes offer excellent views over the mountains. There's nothing like seeing one of our famous pink sunsets, as the dusk light puts on a show on the snowy slopes of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, while enjoying a warm meal or cold drink. Or you can just relax in our warm guest lounge with a mulled wine while admiring our evergreen garden.