On this edition of Kiwi Tripsters, we breathe easy in the wide open spaces of Ruapehu. We check out some great trails, on foot and by bike, sample some winning local hospitality, meet some enterprising locals and luxuriate at Retaruke Country Estate. Here are some of Mt Ruapehu must do’s.

Biking the Ohakune Old Coach Road. Credit: Visit Ruapehu

We start our road-trip in the perky mountain town of Ohakune with is one of the top Mt. Ruapehu must do’s. Head up Ohakune Mountain Road for some incredible walking trails, including the Waitonga Falls track. Plus did you know an elephant is buried under the road? Ohakune is becoming a hotbed for creatives and the enterprising including Big Mountain Mead and Opus Fresh.

Ohakune Autumn. Photo credit Visit Ruapehu

Ruapehu beckons as bikers’ heaven, with a head-swirling banquet of 500 kilometers of trails to graze from. Our all-time favourite day ride is the Ohakune Old Coach Road, a 15km thrill ride connecting Horopito to Ohakune. We discuss why. Plus we check out another repurposed trail, wreathed in rail heritage, the Marton Sash and Door Trail, just out of National Park village.

Ohakune Carrot. Photo Credit Visit Ruapehu

If you’re looking to have a splurge on a luxurious escape in the Ruapehu region, look no further than Retaruke Country Estate. You can enjoy exclusive use of the lodge, drinking in 4000 acres of farm and bush, just west of National Park. It is the irrepressible sense of wild seclusion that instantly strikes you, on the drive in to the lodge.

Retaruke hot tub.
Retaruke hot tub. Credit: Retaruke Country Estate

Complete your romp through Ruapehu, by lacing up the hiking boots  for some short and sweet walks with is Mt Ruapehu must do. We highlight Lake Rotopounamu, Tawhai Falls, Taranaki Falls, the Mounds Walk and Ohinetonga Scenic Reserve.

Taranaki Falls. Photo credit: Department of Conservation

The drama and grandeur of Ruapehu is power-packed as a year-round wonderland for outdoorsy adventure. Crowned by the triple volcanoes of the central plateau and the majestic Tongariro National Park, make tracks to the wide open spaces and hospitality charms of Ruapehu. www.visitruapehu.com

  • 01:10 Welcome of Ohakune and Ohakune mountain road.
  • 08:05 Biking through Ruapehu
  • 14:15 Escapes through Ruapehu
  • 19:56 Great Walks of Ruapehu

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