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Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

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Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Hi

We are travelling in early Jan 15 from Wellington to Rotorua, and staying overnight in Ohakune. I know Tongoriro is great hiking and walking terrain, but we are only staying overnight en-route. So whilst we are there it be would be a shame not to get a glimpse of the mountains and great volcanic landscape.

My question is how to get from Ohakune to the location of the summer chairlift? We'll be driving by car, so do we drive up to the Turoa car park via the mountain road, or is there a bubble lift from the base up? I see that the last lift is 3.30pm - how long does it take from town to lift?

Many many thanks, despite all the advertising about the chairlift, I can find very little on how to actually get to it. I guess we'd also need to know where to buy the pass/ticket.

9 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
posts: 7,635
reviews: 101
1. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Hi Madasacat,

The summertime chairlifts operate on Ruapehu, so you need to drive north through National Park village ( or Desert Road route) to Whakapapa village, then up the Bruce Road to the top carpark -

greatlaketaupo.com/new-zealand/…

Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
2. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Thanks Frangi, a real help, with the road info as well.

Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
3. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Makes sense to go via the National Park Village on our departure the next day - unless we have the wind in our favour - collecting a rental car in Wellington then straight to Whakapapa in time for 3.30pm last lift might be a big ask!!??

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Macau
posts: 19,008
reviews: 171
4. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

You are right that the website is not at all clear - both Turoa & Whakapapa skifields are on Ruapehu, so Frangipani actually meant to say that the summer access chairlift is at Whakapapa.

As I understand it you are driving from Wellington to Ohakune in one day ( 4 hr driving); then next day you want to drive from Ohakune to Whakapapa (which is on the other side of Mt Ruapehu - under 1 hr's drive); have a chairlift ride then drive to Rotorua (another 2:30hr or so); so all quite doable without any rush.

An alternative, if you haven't yet booked accommodation at Ohakune, might be to continue on to National Park Village or somewhere nearby for the night - but I don't find NP particularly appealing. I did once stay in a very cute little cottage at Raurimu - called Wood Pigeon Cottage.

Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
5. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Thanks Z , a silly mistake but as we have booked accommodation we'll go with it, and we have to stop in that neck of the woods. But I've found there are a couple of short walks and the waterfall close by - a nice antidote to the long drive :)

Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
6. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Thanks Z , a silly mistake but as we have booked accommodation we'll go with it, and we have to stop in that neck of the woods. But I've found there are a couple of short walks and the waterfall close by - a nice antidote to the long drive :)

Bury St. Edmunds...
posts: 41
reviews: 35
7. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Thanks Z , a silly mistake but as we have booked accommodation we'll go with it, and we have to stop in that neck of the woods. But I've found there are a couple of short walks and the waterfall close by - a nice antidote to the long drive :)

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Macau
posts: 19,008
reviews: 171
8. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

I don't think Ohakune is a mistake. I'm sure there will be more restaurants there in summer than at National Park village.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
posts: 7,635
reviews: 101
9. Re: Ohakune Overnight - Summer Access Ruapehu Chairlift

Ohakune is a sizeable rural town, and it's not so far to return to your accommodation if you do make it in time for the chairlift adventure.

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