What to do in National Park
Mangatepopo Road, Tongariro National Park
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing is regarded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and one of the top 10 single-day treks in the world.
Our lodge is based about 20 minutes' drive to the start of the Crossing.
At 19.4 km, the Crossing passes over the volcanic terrain of the multi-cratered active volcano of Mt Tongariro, passing the eastern base of Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from The Lord of the Rings) before descending to the Emerald and Blue Lakes.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing provides spectacular views over the Central Plateau, Mt Raupehu and the Tongariro National Park - New Zealand’s oldest national park and a World Heritage site with the distinction of dual status, acknowledged for both its natural and cultural significance.
As the nearest village to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, National Park is the ideal base for this world-famous walk, as well as to explore the other attractions in and around the Tongariro National Park. The town is spoilt for choice for dining options and offers a year-round tranquil rural atmosphere.
Whakapapa Ski Area
The Whakapapa Ski Area on the north-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu is New Zealand's largest ski area and is only about 20 minutes' drive from our lodge.
Whakapapa is home to the brand-new Sky Waka Gondola (currently under construction). It will travel 1.8 km through one of the North Island’s most rugged and spectacular landscapes past waterfalls and snow-laden peaks, and will operate all year round.
During the snow season, Sky Waka gondola offers access to the upper slopes of Mt Ruapehu for some of the best runs in the country from over 30 groomed trails for intermediate skiers and snowboarders to 24 black and black diamond runs.
Throughout the year, the Sky Waka gondola will also transport sightseers directly to the Knoll Ridge Café at 2020m above sea level. Here you can take in the breathtaking views of the Tongariro National Park; Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, while having a drink or a bite to eat at New Zealand's highest cafe.
Whakapapa also boasts New Zealand's premiere beginners' area, Happy Valley with its own cafe, rental complex and ski school meeting area. The gentle slope is nice and long, giving you plenty of time to get the hang of your new sport.
Erua Forest, National Park 3989, New Zealand
Fishers Track is a 27km, grade 2 track with spectacular views over Tongariro National Park and the Retaruke Valley.
This track is mostly downhill with over 600 metres of vertical to enjoy.
Bring your own bikes, hire them or enjoy a guided ride with Kiwi Adventures - 2 Findlay Street, National Park Village. To book call 0800 784 202.
National Park 3989, New Zealand
The Tupapakurua Falls Track is an 11 km walk starting from Fishers Road, National Park Village - allow 4 – 5 hours. To get there, walk about 30 minutes from the lodge up Fishers Road to the start of the Tupapakurua Falls Track on the left-hand side of road. From there track begins with an easy 20 minute walk to the Taranaki lookout. From this point the track becomes a back country adventure track and is suitable for experienced trampers only. The track follows a ridge and then descends steeply to a stream. There are good stands of tawa, mature rimu, miro and totara to see along the way. Climbing from the stream, the track winds its way around bluffs to a good lookout point with views of the Tupapakurua Falls. Return via the same track.
Whakapapa Village State Highway 48, Manawatu-Wanganui 3951
Whakapapa Village is located on the lower slopes on the western side of Mount Ruapehu and in the heart of the Tongariro National Park - New Zealand’s first national park and a Dual World Heritage Area.
From here you can access several short hikes including the Taranaki Falls, Tama Lakes, Silica Rapids, Ridge and Whakapapanui tracks, or start the multi-day Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk and the Round the Mountain track .
Whakapapa Village is the gateway to the Whakapapa ski field and is home to the heritage Chateau Tongariro Hotel, built in 1929.
The Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre is also located in the village and offers hiking track information and current conditions, weather, ski field, and avalanche reports, exhibits on the volcanoes, Maori mythology, flora and fauna, and a 3D model of the national park.
Whakapapa, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Sky Waka Gondola
Glide up Mt Ruapehu in air-conditioned comfort on the Sky Waka gondola and enjoy spectacular views over the Tongariro National Park including neighbouring volcanoes, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.
The Sky Waka offers year-round access to the upper slopes of Mt Ruapehu - covering a distance of 1.8 km over a rugged volcanic landscape in just five minutes.
Once at the top, indulge in one of the many dining offerings at the Knoll Ridge Chalet - the highest dining complex in New Zealand at 2020 m above sea level. Choose from a buffet meal at Pinnacles (Ngā Tohu) Restaurant, barista coffee and a classic café dish at the Pātaka (The Larder), or, during the snow season, grad a foodtruck-style meals from the the Four Peaks Alley.
For the more active, the Sky Waka offers quick access to some excellent hikes from late Spring to April, including the Skyline track, which takes you from the top of the gondola to Skyline Ridge at 2300 m for awesome views of Mt Ngauruhoe, Lake Taupo and beyond.
During the snow season, the Sky Waka transports skiers and snowboarders to the upper slopes of the Whakapapa ski area.
Turoa Ski Area Ohakune Mountain Road, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand
Tūroa ski area
Tūroa, on the south western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, has the New Zealand's longest vertical drop at 722m, as well as two beginners areas, plenty of gullies, drops, natural hits, wide trails & world class terrain parks.
The High Noon Express chair lift takes riders to the highest lifted point in the country with panoramic views of the North Island.
Tūroa is about an hour's drive from Tongariro Crossing Lodge and reached via Ohakune.