24 November 2021 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Things to Do Around Whakapapa Village

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Whakapapa Village – What To Do

Whakapapa Village. Credit: Wikicommons

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are plenty of things that you can do around Whakapapa Village. Turoa Ski Area is only 10 minutes away. There is always skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities to keep you busy.

In the warmer months, there are plenty of conservation parks nearby. Each has a variety of activities to do for all ages.

Let’s take a closer look at some must-see activities and sights around Whakapapa Village!

Water-Based Fun

Tongariro river rafting
Tongariro river rafting. Credit: Wikicommons

Are you interested in adventures on the Tongariro River? There are a variety of guided tubing tours, like the ones offered by Tongariro River Rafting. These tours take approximately two to three hours to complete, depending on everyone’s skill levels. 

Skiing And Snowboarding

Without a doubt, winter is the best time to come to Whakapapa. Not only is there more than enough snow to keep you busy, but the atmosphere of this beautiful village makes it pure magic. If you want a winter wonderland, then Whakapapa village is for you.

There are a variety of skiing and snowboarding tours for beginners or experts, like those offered by Haka Tours. There is also heli-skiing—an option for those looking to take their ski game to the next level.

Tukino Ski Area

Tukino Ski Area
Credit: Wikicommons

Looking for a family day trip around Whakapapa Village? The Tukino Ski Area is less than an hour away and offers the chance to ski or snowboard. The journey will take you on the scenic drive towards either Whakapapa or National Park Village. 

Despite being a great family-friendly destination, Tukino doesn’t have large crowds. You’ll be able to have plenty of adventure without the day feeling rushed.

Horseback Riding

Are you looking for something a little less ‘wild’? No worries—there are scenic horse riding tours like the ones offered by Ruapehu Homestead.

Their tours are only a 40 minute drive from Whakapapa village and they have lessons and horse treks for riders of all ages and skill levels. 

Fishing Tours

Fishing tours whakapapa village
Credit: Pxfuel

If you have a car, there are numerous fishing tours that you can do along State Highway 47. These typically include a tour guide and all the equipment necessary for a fun-filled day of fishing. What’s more, companies such as Whakapapa Raft Fishing provide guided raft trips where you can catch huge brown and rainbow trout.

Lake Taupo is another quality destination for fishing. In fact, Whiskery Mike’s Charters have ample experience and boats that carry up to four people. Captain Mike will even clean and fillet your catch at the end of the trip. Want it smoked? He’ll do that too! (for an extra fee).

Snowball Fights

Turoa Ski Field
Credit: Flickr

Are you and the kids looking for an easy activity that’s still great fun? Snow-play areas around Whakapapa village might be the ticket. These offer safe environments for kids of all ages to explore and play. 

Best of all, you’ll be able to enjoy a good snowball fight regardless of the season. Just take the chairlift up Mt. Ruapehu from winter through spring. 

Would you prefer to stay firmly planted on the ground? There is an ice skating at the National Park Ice Rink located by the Visitor Centre.


Tongariro Crossing. Walks near Whakapapa village
Credit: Flickr

You could also try hiking the mountain tracks around Tongariro National Park. There are several different routes and trails to choose from, so you are guaranteed to find something that will match your fitness level.

The Alpine Crossing is a must-do for all trampers as it’s the most popular of the three main walking tracks. However, it takes nearly a whole day to do the whole track. With that in mind, you’ll need to know your limits. The Alpine Crossing is best left to anyone fit enough to cover between 16 and 21 kilometers a day. 

Keep in mind that the track is not recommended for solo walkers. There are sections where paths can be particularly hazardous, and you need to have appropriate equipment and supplies. However, if you can handle this adventure, you will journey through valleys, lakes, and hot springs.

For a more leisurely hike, take a walk on the Taranaki Falls track. The two-and-a-half-hour loop provides mountain views. You’ll get to gaze at a lake, waterfall, forest, and volcanic soil.

You can also try out the Waihohonu walk track—an excellent alternative if you do not want to go too far and requires minimal equipment. It is an hour and a half return walk to the top of Ngauruhoe and provides incredible views.

Food and Drinks

Chateau Tongariro
Chateau Tongariro. Credit: Wikicommons

All this adventure is bound to have you build up an appetite. Luckily, you have plenty of outstanding dining options beyond catching your own trout. Some of the best restaurants in the area include Ruapehu Restaurant, The Pinnacles Restaurant, and Tussock. Tussock is the spot if you want pizza, burgers, and a game of pool.

Of course, you might need to unwind after a long day of adventure. Fortunately, Chateau Tongariro is the perfect place to grab a beer and kick back.

Another cool spot for a drink is Pihanga Cafe and T-Bar. There, you can enjoy local and international wines and beers as you relax with a juicy burger.

Soak In Maori Culture

Marae Tongariro
The Marae in Tongariro. Credit: Wikicommons

Whakapapa Village offers ample opportunity to experience Maori Culture. They range from learning more about the Maori tradition to being a part of a traditional haka.

Specialized tours are available through local operators such as Ngati Rangi Cultural Tours and Hangi Services. Also, consider joining a tour with Tongariro Expeditions who offer cultural tours in the national park.

In conclusion, you and your loved ones won’t be at a loss for things to do in Whakapapa Village. With plenty of natural attractions and adventure, the whole family is sure to have a great time with these activities.

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