Ohakune, on New Zealand’s North Island, is a popular tourist destination because of its stunning natural beauty. It is located beside a National Park and an active volcano.
- Skiing on Mount Ruapehu – Heavy snowfalls at 300 metres up have given the volcano two ski areas, the best in the country and with the latest facilities. There is quality off-piste and après skiing even in spring here.
- Cycle rides – There are many cycle tours of the mountain roads around Ohakune, with all the gear supplied and some truly stunning scenery, this is a popular activity with visitors.
- Canoe safaris – There are canoe and raft activities to enjoy on the River Whanganui, and guided trips down the Mohaka River with its rapids and waterfalls that look like, and possibly were, sets for The Lord of the Rings movies.
Dining out in Ohakune can be something of an adventure in its own right, with numerous restaurants and cafes sourcing wholesome natural produce for local specialties and international favourites. The Alpine Restaurant and Lodge Bar does a particularly fresh and succulent Hunters Pie and has a nice stock of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Sazzis serves Tui beer with fried camembert cheeses, hoki fish and mixed salads, and there are plenty of other equally scrumptious eateries in the area.
There are numerous events throughout the year in Ohakune, including on-snow entertainments, country fairs and various competitions especially in winter, with September the busiest month for school championships in particular. Photographers and artists enter their work for the Waimarino Art Awards each July, and the Ohakune Carrot Carnival is a fun event in July where vegetables are celebrated and there are numerous entertainments for all the family.
Families are well catered for in Ohakune, with a great range of things for them to see and do together. Horse riding in the surrounding hills is popular with beginning and experienced riders, and accommodation in rustic lodges overnight with home cooking. Canoe safaris with professional guides take you along some stunning waterways and there are guided walks along the course of the Whanganui River that includes jet boating and canoe trips.
Visitors to Ohakune can have the choice of many different Ohakune accommodation options. There are cheap Ohakune hotels for backpackers on a budget. There are also family-run guesthouses, B&Bs and a range of luxury hotels here. Most of the accommodation, whichever type you choose for your stay, is within easy reach of the sights and surrounding countryside.