Hiking

Nestled between two National Parks, Ohakune has a vast selection of walks ranging in length from several hours to multi day hikes. The Powderhorn Chateau can assist with planning any of the walks within the area from advice, arranging shuttle transfers right through to packed lunches.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Tongariro National Park

Now fully reopened after the 2012 eruptions, The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the nine New Zealand’s Great Walks. The hike is a one-day hike through unique and stunning landforms, which include volcanic craters. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing traverses steep volcanic terrain and a reasonable level of fitness is required, i.e. able to walk unguided for 5 to 8 hours. For those looking for an added challenge hike Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from the Lord of the Rings). Entrance to The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is via Mangatepopo Road access from SH 47. Shuttles can be arranged to and from the hotel at 7.30am daily (summer season only) and are weather dependant.

Please note: The Alpine Crossing reaches high altitudes were weather conditions can change in an instance. Ensure your own personal safety by dressing appropriately (hiking attire is required), carrying the right equipment, sufficient water and high energy foods and checking track and weather conditions before you leave. The track is not suitable for children under the age of 12. Baby sitters can be arranged in advance by Reception.

Ohakune does not have a 24 hour store. If you intend to arrive into Ohakune later than 5pm please ensure you bring all required items/equipment with you. The Powderhorn is able to assist with Packed Lunches and Water.

Arrive Prepared: Useful Tongariro Crossing Links

Tongariro Crossing Fact Sheet and Gear List – (Equipment Required)
Current Track Conditions – Alerts and Important Notices
Are you prepared? Know Before You Go – Plan and Prepare
Download the Pocket Ranger App. – Plan and Prepare
Tongariro National Park Weather – Short and Long Forecasts

Walks in and around Ohakune

Mangawhero and Rimu Walks

The Rimu and Mangawhero Forest walk begin just beyond and opposite the Ngati Rangi Offices at the bottom of the Mountain Road. Both walk s start by crossing a wooden foot bridge over the Mangawhero River. The Rimu track is a gentle meander through the ancient and huge Rimu, Miro and Matai trees of the podocarp (native pine) forest of Ohakune. Sheltered by the huge mass of Mt Ruapehu, this forest survived the Taupo eruption of 186AD and is therefore one of the few remnants of its type in the Tongariro National Park.
The Managwhero Forest Walk is a longer walk that skirts around the base of Raetihi Hill as it follows the Mangawhero River up to a picnic area and camp ground. The walk continues around the Ohakune Mountain Road and re enters the forest to return downhill to the Ngati Rangi offices.

Ohakune Old Coach Road & Hapuawhenua Viaduct

The recently opened Ohakune Old Coach Road is saturated in New Zealand rail history. The shared cycle and walk way follows the original trail which was an access way for coaches transporting rail passengers from the Ohakune Railway Station to Horopito and further afield to the Raurimu spiral. Historic features include the decommissioned Hapuawhenua Viaduct. The scenery is varied from native bush, uninterrupted views of Mt Ruapehu and sweeping views across farmland.

Waitonga Falls Walk

Mt Ruapehu from Waitonga Trail

The Waitonga Falls track begins from the Round the Mountain track entrance near the 11km road marker on the Ohakune Mountain Road. The Waitonga Falls is the Tongariro National Parks highest waterfall. The track crosses an open area of tussock with Rotokawa, an alpine tarn that reflects views of the southern face of Mt Ruapehu. Along the way, look out for native mistletoe.

Lake Surprise Walk

This challenging day walk begins 15km up the Ohakune Mountain Road. Some parts of the track aren’t well defined, but poles mark the path the entire way. The walk should take about 5 hours return, but a moderate level of fitness is required. The trail crosses through the Mangaturuturu Valley and is part of the Round the Mountain Track that continues along around Mt Ruapehu. There is one unbridged river crossing along the trail, which should never be attempted after periods of heavy rainfall. It is advised to only attempt this trail during the summer months, as when the track is covered in snow mountaineering experience and equipment is necessary.

Round the Mountain Track

The Round the Mountain Track is challenging track that circumnavigates Mt Ruapehu and can be extended to include portion of the Northern Circuit and Tongariro Alpine Crossing trails. The track can be walked at any time of the year but is safest and most popular from December to May when the track is free of snow. The Round the Mountain Track traverses a myriad of landscapes ranging from mountain beech forest, tussock-country and alpine herb fields; to desert-lands and glacial river valleys.