In the past few years the Tongariro National Park area and its surroundings have gained increasing recognition as a summer resort for those who want a change from beach locations.
Staying at the Skotel Alpine Resort in Whakapapa Village gives you easy access to a beautiful and varied region of New Zealand. The available walks, Whakapapa Village and the mountain facilities are detailed in separate pages of our website. There are also many other activities to tempt the holidaymaker. Our friendly and knowledgeable reception staff at the Skotel can provide you with details of the many options.
On the other side of the mountain at Waiouru is the Army Museum - an outstanding collection devoted to the soldiers of New Zealand from the colonial New Zealand wars to the Vietnam conflict of the 1960s, from the trenches of Gallipoli to the jungles of Malay.
Situated next to the main highway, the fortress like design by leading New Zealand architect, Sir Miles Warren, dominates the surrounding tussock land that provides a striking setting for outstanding displays of the nation's military heritage.
The museum is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on State Highway 1 at Waiouru. For more information you can visit their website www.armymuseum.co.nz
Enjoy the thrill and beauty of the Whakapapa River with a half-day Adventure Kayak Tour. The scenery is stunning with pristine native forest and crystal clear mountain water. Be prepared to get wet and laugh a lot! For more information please check out their website; www.adventureoutdoors.co.nz
Half day kayak trips starting at the National Park Village can be arranged with all equipment supplied. To find out more please contact Sarah Cate on 0800 386 925 or for more details go to www.npadventures.co.nz
In summer the chairlifts can take you half way up the mountain to the Knoll Ridge Cafeteria and Restaurant where you can enjoy a relaxing drink and an amazing view. In the wintertime it gives the non-skier the chance to see the action in the middle of the main area and in the summertime it gives you access to a dramatic part of the volcano’s slopes.
The skifields and upper slopes of Mt Ruapehu are not just a winter experience. The Chairlifts run from 9am to 3.30 through most of the summer. There are volcanic walks to Mead’s Wall, the Skyline, the Ampitheatre and to Crater Lake. Details at www.mtruapehu.com
Ruapehu's lakes, rivers and mountain streams offer some of the best trout fishing in the world. With internationally acclaimed rivers such as the Tongariro, Whakapapa and Manganui-o-te ao, it is a fly fisherman's paradise.
Peter Fordham, with 20 years guiding experience can provide full day trips to the variety of local rivers including access by helicopter to wilderness streams. Two days notice and booking is essential. Please phone 021 295 5023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.allfly.co.nz
The National Trout Centre on the famous Tongariro River demonstates DOC’s management of the Taupo fishery. On children’s fishing days there is an opportunity for children to experience the fun and learn how to catch their first trout. (Bookings essential) www.taupofortomorrow.co.nz
Choose from the regions four eighteen-hole golf courses or one of the nine-hole greens at Whakapapa or Ohakune and Taumarunui. All extend a warm welcome to visiting golfers.
Ride through forest and river or farm trails with spectacular landscape views. Perfect for a day when the mountain is closed. Ruapehu Homestead at Ohakune can provide treks to suit all levels of riding experience form village walks to a three hour outback trails. Visit Ruapehu Homstead.
The Tokaanu area is part of the active Taupo volcanic zone. Far below the surface water comes into contact with hot volcanic rock and is driven up to emerge as thermal springs rich in minerals.
The hot pools at Tokaanu will soak away the aches and pains from any of your more strenuous activities. You can enjoy the large public pool heated with fresh chlorinated water or choose from one of the family sized natural private mineral pools which range from 39 degrees to 41 degrees. The pools are open from 10.00am to 9.00pm and include both private and public pools. For more information please visit www.tokaanuthermalpools.co.nz
If the weather is bad, the 8 metre indoor climbing wall at National Park Backpackers in the National Park Township is worth a visit. There are 50 different climbs from beginners to advanced. Gear and free instruction is available.
Deep up the Whanganui river is the famous Bridge to Nowhere. The isolated settlement failed in 1942 and now only the bridge is left. A four-hour trip visits the bridge and gives those who are short of time, an opportunity to see the spectacular Whanganui River.
A flying fox at 160kph, a giant swing with a 50m freefall and NZ’s highest bridge bungy jump at 80 metres high await you at Gravity Canyon. For more information please visit www.gravitycanyon.co.nz
Join the Tongariro’s most experienced rafting operator for a range of trips including family fun trips. For more information please visit www.trr.co.nz
This could be the thrill of your lifetime. 12,000 feet tandem jumps from $249 with the opportunity for add-on options including free-fall video. For more information please visit www.taupotandemskydiving.com
There are no performances regularly available at Tokaanu or Turangi but check with our office for special events
Bikes are available for hire in the area. Freewheel down Ohakune's picturesque mountain road or ride the renowned ‘42nd Traverse’. This is an all day trip, which can take from 3 to 7 hours depending whether you are on a mission or a picnic. It is a one-way trip, which finishes at Owhango and arrangements can be made to be dropped off and picked up. Shorter rides are also available.
For more details on bike hire and transport for the local tracks pleasecall 0800 KMBIKES or visit their website www.kiwimountainbikes.co.nz
In winter, even Alpine Beginners can undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with the alpine gear and a guide. Adrft Outdoors supply crampons and ice axes and your guide will be there to show you how to use them safely. A great chance for a memorable photo. For further information please visit www.adrift.co.nz
A flight over the mountains is often the highlight of a trip to the Park. There are several options available ranging from NZ$115 over Mt Tongariro to all three volcanoes at NZ$220. Flights are also available between local towns and further afield by charter.
Mountainair charters planes undertake scenic flights just 6 kilometres down the road from the Skotel. Charters are also available from other parts of New Zealand. For further information please email: email@example.com or visit www.mountainair.co.nz
Take to the road by car and circle the three volcanoes, calling in at the Army Museum.
If you take a journey down the Whanganui River by canoe, kayak or jet boat you will experience New Zealand much as it was a century ago. Peaceful river scenes winding between shear rocky walls from which plunge a multitude of waterfalls, each different from the last.
Dense bush clad slopes towering above it all, the ridges crested by ancient Rata and Rimu from which come the sound of Tui, Kereru and the startling Bridge to Nowhere, looking incongruously out of place, yet providing a fitting reminder of the endeavour of our pioneer farmers.
As you cruise down you will pass long abandoned steamer landings carved from the rock by early settlers, often framed by cascading hydrangea blossom planted as a reminder of the civilization they left behind.
Your guides can recount tales of hardship, triumph and tragedy, which accompanied these early farmers and traders, plus stories of the early Maori, how they used this waterway as their transport and communication highway, their battles and culture. You will have the opportunity to meet descendants of these people still living on the river and caring for today's travellers.
A rail tour with a difference (not operating in winter). Travel in rail carts along decommissioned railway lines, (last passenger train 1983) through tunnels, over bridges and rivers and to townships that time forgot.
A one day tour starting from Taumarunui. Take the rail and river run with 10 tunnels and a jet boat return on the Whanganui ($295p.p.) or the 20 tunnel tour ($285p.p.) For further information and bookings Phone 0800 7245 2278 or
Roam transport leaves from our door for the Tongariro Crossing and in the winter runs regular shuttles to the Whakapapa Ski Field. Arrangements can be made with them for connecting with bus or train, biking or other pick-up or other transport in the region. For further information please visit www.roam.net