The Ruapehu region is defined by the
three volcanoes that stand sentinel over a landscape of tussocked desert, rivers, lakes
and thermal springs.
Today the volcanoes are part of the Tongariro World Heritage
Park, New Zealand’s first national park. The centerpiece is the snow-capped Mount
Ruapehu with, alongside, the two smaller cones of Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro.
For skiers and snowboarders, Ruapehu is the site of two of the North Island’s best
Snow pursuits aside, there are many other outdoor and adventure
activities in the region. For mountain bikers, there’s the famous 42 Traverse. The area
is popular with hunters and, for trout fishers, the small tributary rivers provide
excellent if challenging sport. And then there’s hiking. For sheer scenic incredibility,
you must walk the Tongariro Crossing. This one-day hike takes you from alpine meadow to
mountain summit across a surreal landscape of craters, coloured lakes and volcanic rock.
is plenty of accommodation in the towns around the area with everything from the basic
backpacker’s hostels to boutique lodges and the Edwardian grandeur of the Chateau on the
slopes of Ruapehu.