The Ruapehu mountainside and local Ohakune surrounds offer completely different activities depending on when you decide to visit. As one of New Zealand’s premiere ski destinations, you’ll be experiencing a snowy wonderland during winter which will see you hitting the slopes of either Turoa or Whakapapa ski areas by day, where an awesome range of trails welcome skiers of all levels. At night you’ll return to the beautiful white-covered town to refuel with Italian, pizza or kebabs– and enjoy a glass or two of local vino or beer with the locals.
Speaking of partying, for one fabulous night in winter (in June) you can celebrate in style at the Ohakune Mardi Gras Festival. You’ll discover rocking musical shows from all over New Zealand that come to play or spin their tunes in front of roaring crowds. Don’t be surprised to see groups of friends in matching costumes ranging from polka-dot pyjamas to superhero outfits. Fireworks light up the sky, laser shows arc over your head and street performers compete for your attention; this is definitely the time for ski junkies to enjoy a trip to Ohakune.
But if you’re not such a ski enthusiast, don’t despair, because after the snow melts, this destination offers so much for visitors to do in spring and summer. Experience the scenic Tongariro and Whangunui National Parks, perfect for hiking, horse riding and bike riding. Get outdoors and surround yourself in thick green forests and crystal blue glacial rivers where you can paddle in canoes or relax in a kayak. If you’re an adventure lover, go white water rafting or experience the thrill of a jet boat ride, scenic helicopter flight or traveling around in a four wheel drive.Getting there and around
To reach Ohakune you can catch the daily trains from Auckland or Wellington, or hire a car and enjoy the scenic roads at your own pace. While in town, you’ll find you can easily get around to most places on foot, especially with some walking trails and cool bridges to pass by, but there are taxis if you need them.
Hotels in Ohakune start at AU$59 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.