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Destinations - Ruapehu

Wild and exotic, the mesmerising district of Ruapehu is found in the heart of central North Island, smack bang in the middle between Auckland and Wellington. The largest winter sports destination in all of the North Island, Mount Ruapehu, as the region is also known as, draws in a whopping 65% of all of New Zealand's avid winter sports and ski enthusiasts to its spectacular slopes. Visitors can also enjoy rafting, canoeing, trout fishing, horse trekking, hiking, golfing and farm bike tours.

Eruption at Mount RuapehuWhat makes this destination even more alluring is the fact that Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano and there's still a bit of kick in the old girl yet. Delighting hoards of visitors who flock to the region every ski season, the volcano shakes her tail feathers with a bit of a rumble and some mini fireworks on a display every other year or so, with a little eruption that makes the crowds go wild.

There are two smaller volcanic mountains - Mount Ngauruhoe, which is also active (and was Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings) and Mount Tongariro - which are situated alongside Mount Ruapheu.

Ohakune with Turoa ski area in backgroundMount Ruapheu has an acclaimed status for being a protected national park, so there is no accommodation on the actual ski slopes themselves. Visitors can book accommodation at some of the private resorts at Whakapapa Village, which is just six kilometres away from some of the best ski slopes on the mountain, and some of the very best world class facilities for visitors. Nearby Ohakune is the southern gateway to the Tongariro National Park and offers a range of accommodation for the ski fields of Turoa.

Mount Ruapehu across the fieldsVivacious Ruapheu
The surrounding landscapes of Ruapehu are truly astonishing; the dramatic landscapes marked by majestic volcanoes make this one of the most incredible offerings Mother Nature has left behind. Mount Ruapheu is a 2,797 metre high glory that rises up regally from the heart of the foot hills that is rooted deeply in the centre of the resplendent Tongariro National Park and listed World Heritage Site.

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro National ParkNew Zealand's first national park, The Tongariro National Park covers more than 80,000 hectares of landscape, surrounding Mt Ruaphehu with a panoramic view of the most incredible scenery and vivid contrasts. Apart from the incredible volcanic features, Tongariro has deep seated cultural and spiritual Maori connotations. Having opened in the late 1800's, Tongariro has some of the most extreme landscapes from peaceful lakes to arid landscapes, from rolling natural fields of herbs to ancient forests, this World Heritage Site has everything and more.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the raw and surprising region that is full of exciting hidden treasures and natural gems. Walk through some moonscape craters and check out the lava formations, get a chance to experience a pristine glacier and picturesque lakes and trickling streams, as well as meander through a dense and wild jungle like forest.

Golf at RuapehuRuapehu in the Raw
For the adventure enthusiast, Mt Ruapheu is a virtual playground all throughout the year. Whether you are into a bit of snowboarding, or white water rafting, Mt Ruapheu has it all. Adrenalin junkies will be able to get their rock climbing, abseiling, mountaineering and ice climbing fix, surrounded by the most breath taking beauty in the world. And for those visitors who are after activities that are just a little less terrifying, then there is canoeing, trout fishing at Lake Rotoaira, horse riding trails, plenty of stunning world class golf courses and off road farm tours for the entire family to enjoy.

Getting There
Mt Ruapehu is right in the middle between two of New Zealand's biggest cities, Auckland and Wellington. Visitors coming to experience the biggest winter sports region on the slopes of Mount Ruapheu can drive the picturesque four hour route from either of the cities, or they can hop on quick air flight transfer, which lands at Hamilton and Rotorua respectively. Once landed, visitors can pick up a rental car and enjoy a scenic drive to reach the Ruapehu region in just over two hours.

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