Mt Ruapehu
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Mt Ruapehu Region Major Towns

Wairakei Village

A cultural experience depicting the local Maori history in carvings and guided tours. Wairakei offers visitors a chance to see how the area evolved and to learn about its fascinating geology.

Waitahanui, Hatepe, Waitetoko

About 15 minutes south of Taupo are small lakeside settlements with many recreational facilities, accommodation and local amenities.


A winter party town, Ohakune is the home of skiers, snowboarders and sledders, and is the base used by those hitting the slopes at the Turoa ski field. It is also home to summer outdoor pursuits such as mountain climbing and horse trekking.


High on the central plateau, Waiouru (815m) is a small town with a grand view. Graced by the majestic presence of the snow-capped Mt. Ruapehu, it offers travellers a convivial place to rest after crossing the desolate Desert Road. Waiouru features an armed forces training camp, and a fascinating war memorial museum.


A town that still has pioneer spirit, Raetihi is the biggest township before hitting the Whanganui National Park. You can go white-water rafting and trout fishing in the rivers that can be found in the surrounding countryside.


Pipiriki is the northern gateway to the Whanganui National Park. Sites worth seeing are the mysterious Bridge to Nowhere, a museum located at Colonial House, and of course, the native flora and fauna that abounds in the park itself.