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The Ruapehu district is located in the central North Island, midway between Auckland and Wellington. The region includes the towns of Taumarunui (nestled on the banks of the Whanganui and Ongaue Rivers), the army town of Waiouru and the ski settlements of National Park and Ohakune.


  800 square kilometre Tongariro National Park (World Heritage Area) is the centre of attraction for this region. It was gifted to the country by the local Ngati Tuwharetoa people, who recognised that this area needed to belong to all New Zealanders. Its centrepiece is the active volcano of Mount Ruapehu (2,797 m) which rises dramatically from the surrounding countryside. Alongside are two smaller volcanic mountains - Mount Ngauruhoe (also active) and Mount Tongariro.
The Whanganui River winds its way through hills and valleys from the mountains of the central North Island to the Tasman Sea. The river was once an important transport route for Maori and now a 145 kilometre river trip runs from Taumarunui to the village of Pipiriki, taking about 5 days to complete by canoe or kayak. 
Main Attractions
/ Activities

  In summer there are a number of trails to explore, with one of the best known being the Tongariro Crossing, a full-day hike. These hikes provide opportunities to experience some of the most active volcanic areas, as well as moonscape craters, lush native forest, lava formations, glaciers and pristine streams and lakes.
High-energy pursuits include ice and rock climbing, abseiling and mountaineering. There is also rafting, canoeing, trout fishing, horse trekking, golfing, mountain biking and farm bike tours.
Two of New Zealand's biggest and most developed ski areas are both based on Mount Ruapehu, Whakapapa and Turoa. Near the junction of Highways 1 and 49, the Waiouru Army Museum tells the stories of New Zealanders at war.
An attraction of special interest to railway buffs is the Raurimu Spiral, an internationally recognised engineering achievement built to negotiate a 215 m escarpment on the North Island Main Trunk Railway. Railway enthusiasts come from all over the world to ride this section of track, either on scheduled services or on regular vintage steam train excursions.
To get there

  Mount Ruapehu is a four hour drive from Auckland or Wellington or 2 hours, 30 mins from Rotorua. A train runs between Auckland and Wellington which stops off at Taumarunui, National Park, Ohakune and Waiouru.


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