Visit Ohakune, Tongariro, NZ

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  • Ohakune is about 25 minutes’ drive south from National Park Village, to the west of Mount Ruapehu, or 20 minutes’ from Waiouru, to the east of the national park.

    The closest town to Turoa - a Mt Ruapehu skifield, Ohakune is popular in summer for hiking, mountain biking and horse trekking.

    Follow these links to New Zealand Ski Itineraries including the Mt Ruapehu/Tongariro National Park region:

    Ohakune’s early industry revolved around forestry and sawmilling. Today, it is dominated by tourism and horticulture. Visitors to the town are greeted by a giant fibreglass carrot sculpture, in recognition that the area produces most of New Zealand’s carrot crop.

    Ohakune has been called New Zealand’s après ski capital, with numerous restaurants, cafes and bars. It hosts a number of annual events, including a short film festival and a Mardi Gras.


    Accommodation in Ohakune (NZ)

    Ohakune has a very wide range of accommodation to choose from, many of them with restaurants and offering shuttle transport to and from ski areas, as well as the start and finish of walking and mountain biking trails.

    Budget travellers are catered for by backpacker lodges and holiday parks. Luxury travellers can choose from exclusive  lodges and hotels. Motels and bed & breakfast establishments provide excellent accommodation at a medium budget.

    Independent (self-catering) visitors can choose from a range of holiday homes andself-contained apartments and chalets.

    Home-stay and farm-stay options are available within the surrounding region, sometimes associated with river activities or hunting and fishing.

    Transport around Ohakune

    Travellers using private or rental vehicles normally reach Ohakune from State Highway 1 to its east. However, an alternative route around the western side of the national park does not add much time to the journey.

    The “main trunk” north-south railway line brings train services through Ohakune daily. This journey is especially interesting and scenic approaching Ohakune from the north, passing through the Raurimu Spiral system of viaducts and tunnels.

    National coach services operate through Ohakune daily, on a route between Auckland and Palmerston North.

    For shorter journeys within the region, there are local coach and taxi services, as well as mountain bike rental. Shuttle transport services to and from ski fields and the starts and ends of walking and mountain biking trails are operated by independent transport companies and some accommodation providers.


    Tourist Activities around Ohakune

    Hiking and mountain biking in a number of easily-accessible wilderness areas are very popular. In their respective seasons, trout fishing and skiing (at Mount Ruapehu) are extremely popular.

    In addition to trails within the national park, there are some excellent walking and mountain-biking tracks near the town itself, including the Old Coach Road track, includes a high river bridge that was the site of New Zealand’s first commercial bungee jumping operation.

    Any railway or engineering enthusiast should not miss seeing the Raurimu Spiral, a complex system of tunnels and a circling viaduct that was regarding as a masterpiece of late 19th Century civil engineering. More of the region’s railway history can be learned at Ohakune’s Railway Museum.

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