Mountain weather in the Ruapehu region can turn drastically and quickly! So what do you do when you can’t get up the mountain? Whether you came to hike the Tongariro Crossing, or slide down Mt Ruapehu’s slopes, there is still plenty of great wet weather options to explore. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite bad weather day activities.
1. Get out and explore the Taranaki Falls
If it’s not blowing too much of a gale, one of Tongariro National Park’s shorter walks are great to get you out in the fresh air. Ranging from 20 minutes to 7 hours, there are a number of walks to suit every level. Shrug on a rain coat and enjoy the beautiful natural wonders of Tongariro National Park around unexpected bends. The Taranaki Falls is a popular walk and, just a 2 hour return loop from Whakapapa Village. It’s the perfect option when there is a small break in the weather, you won’t be disappointed when you reach the beautiful Taranaki Falls!
2. Historical learnings at the Waiouru National Army Museum
Visiting the National Army Museum in Waiouru is a great afternoon adventure. With a unique collection of military uniforms, vehicles, and war exhibitions it’s an excellent walk back in time. It also features a collection of restored tanks at the front of the building, which are perfect for an Instagram shot!
3. Get a photo with the Famous Ohakune Carrot
If you’ve been to Ohakune before, but never seen the iconic Ohakune carrot, have you really seen the town? As well known as the L&P bottle in Paeroa, the Ohakune carrot is a fun stop off for a quick photo and is one of New Zealand’s most-hugged-big-things! There’s also a playground which is perfect for the kids. Once you’ve seen the carrot, it’s just a few minutes walk to the famous Chocolate Eclair shop. Where you must stop and get one of Johnny’s delicious eclair’s!
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Ohakune is a pretty wee town located near great ski fields and mountain bike tracks. Interesting fact: 2/3 of the North Island's carrots are grown here. The giant carrot was erected in 1984 as a tribute. #ohakune #ohakunecarrot #carrots #vegetables #nofilter #nzphotography #nzphotographer #destinationnz #newzealandphotography #newzealand #canon #canonphotography #nzdphotos #lovenz #newzealandfinds #discover_newzealand #kiwiexperience #gottalovenz #newzealandnatural #beautifulnz #shootnz #nzmustdo #earthpixnz #nzplaces #beautifulnewzealand #nzmustdo
4. Board game marathon
If it’s raining cats and dogs and you’d rather not brave the outdoors, then a board game marathon is the way to go. Stay warm in your holiday home and break out Monopoly, Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary or turn to the humble pack of cards for a good game of Canasta.
5. Explore the mountain bike trails
If the weather is too windy to be up the mountain, but ok down below why not get out on a bike and explore some great trails. Ruapehu is home to many expertly crafted tracks including two of New Zealand Cycleways ‘Great Rides’ – the ‘Timber Trail’ and ‘Mountains to Sea’. With other tracks ranging from 2 hours to multiple days, there is something to suit everyone. Explore the forest and mountain tracks and experience a new side of Ruapehu you’ve never seen before. Bikes and gear can be hired from many places in the area such as Mountain Bike Station and Ruapehu Cycles. Some also offer tours if you’d like a guide, or just hire the bike and explore yourself!
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Thinking about riding on the Timber Trail this winter? Right now the weather for riding through the Pureora Forest Park could not be better. The air will be crisp and cool and the forest will be alive with the best NZ native bird song on offer. Stay at the @TimberTraillodgenz at the half way point to enjoy luxury in the middle of the forest. The Timber Trail Lodge opened early in April this year and since then the riders on the Timber Trail have swelled in number. Many of the operators are reporting the last couple of months as the best yet since the Trail opened in 2013. Photo: @timbertraillodgenz. Have you found us on Facebook yet? Facebook.com/timbertrailnewzealand
6. Have a soak in the Tokaanu Thermal Pools
What better way to warm up on a wet a dreary day, than in a wonderfully hot thermal pool. Situated in the small village of Tokaanu, a 35 minute drive from National Park, the thermal waters of Tokaanu Thermal Pools have been recognised for generations by the local Iwi as having the ‘wai ora’ meaning healing waters. Begin in the private natural mineral pools and when your time is up and pool number called, move onto the large public pool at a slightly cooler temperature. This is also a great spot to bring the kids, with a smaller pool for preschoolers located right next to the main pool.
7. Snuggle up around the fireplace with a good book
Let’s be honest, sometimes all you want to do on the bad weather day is sit in your deliciously warm holiday home in front of a roaring fire and read a good book! If you’re looking for reading inspiration to bring with you on holiday, check out Whitcoulls Top 100 books.
Featured Mt Ruapehu Holiday Home:
7+2 People | 5 Bedrooms | 2+1 Bathrooms | Wifi | From $355 per night
This modern holiday home enjoys expansive decking, spacious living areas, and stunning views overlooking Tongariro National Park! The house includes a well appointed, open plan living downstairs, with 4 bedrooms upstairs. The fireplace is on hand for toasty winter stays as you gaze at the panoramic views, or relax on the generous deck when the sun is shining! Triple Peaks Lodge offers an ideal Ruapehu retreat, with everything you need for a refreshing escape on hand. Take in the peace and quiet with a breathtaking backdrop!