Ruapehu – blessed with natural wonders

Tongariro National Park - Ruapehu regionMountains, deserts, lakes, pristine rivers, active volcanoes, rich farm land and native flora and fauna are all part of this unique region which is steeped in Maori and European history.

The Ruapehu region is blessed with outstanding natural features including the Tongariro National Park, the Whanganui National Park and the Whanganui River and other conservation areas including the Pureora Forest Park, Erua Conservation Area, Rangataua Conservation Area and the Tongariro Forest Park. Numerous other rivers and small lakes abound.

Combine these with a fascinating history and heritage and you have a unique place to visit all year round.

Ruapehu region is named after the sacred Mt Ruapehu or exploding pit - (rua “pit”, pehu “to explode”) It covers an area of 6,700 square kilometres and has a population of around 14,500 people.

There is plenty of action here for the adventurous visitor.

Snow Skiing on Mt Ruapehu- Ruapehu region Ski, snowboard or play in the snow on Mt Ruapehu, take a scenic flight over the Tongariro National Park, hike the Tongariro Crossing, take a guided 2 day tramp on the Round the Mountain track, kayak or canoe down the Whanganui River or canoe or jet boat to the Bridge to Nowhere in the Whanganui National Park

No matter what activity you want to do whether it be a short walk, a guided trek, go skiing or fishing or take a scenic flight or a guided Maori cultural tour there are many opportunities to connect with nature, feel its spirit and experience its magical healing touch.

The best time to swim in the many waterholes is during summer however canoeing, kayaking or jet boating is possible most of the year round, with both freedom and guided river trips available. While the Whanganui River is graded 1 to 2, most of the river is very remote so suitable outdoor skills, equipment and clothing are essential.

For your own safety, take advantage of experienced local guides. They can help provide a safe environment as well as enhance your experience with intimate knowledge of the Ruapehu region, its culture, history, flora and fauna. They can also arrange transport, accommodation, permits, food and equipment. 

The Ruapehu District is located only four hours drive from either Auckland or Wellington or an even shorter drive from Waitomo Caves and Rotorua.

Walking the Tongariro Crossing - Ruapehu regionFor further information on the Ruapehu region please visit

Images provided by Visit Ruapehu