Mt Ruapehu is the highest (2797m), of the three active andesitic volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park. The last eruption on Mt Ruapehu was in 2007. There are three ski fields on Mt Ruapehu. The closest accommodation locations are Whakapapa Village and National Park Village.
The walk begins at the Whakapapa Ski area at the top of the Bruce Road on Mt Ruapehu. There may be an option of taking a chairlift up to Knoll Ridge cafe. This option will depend on the group on the day and if the chairlifts are operating. Payment for the chairlift is about $26 pp and is made to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (situated at the start of the walk). Taking the chairlift is not compulsory.
Walking distance is 10 kms return or 7 kms return when the chairlift is utilised. Walking time is about 6-7 hours.
This walk requires a good level of fitness. The terrain is uneven and steep in places. It is possible to take the walk as far as Knoll Ridge Cafe if you are concerned about your fitness.
During winter and times of snow, surface conditions will vary from day to day. Crampons and ices axes are required and your guide will provide instruction on how to use them correctly.
Route Description Mt. Ruapehu's Crater Lake
The most commonly used early summer route, when there is snow still present in the valleys, follows up the left- hand-side of the Knoll Ridge t-bar line, and continues up the valley above the last t-bar pylon. At the head of the valley climb up onto the ridge behind Glacier Knob. At this point, a narrow foot track zigzagging up the face and onto Dome Ridge may be seen. Follow along Dome Ridge to Dome Shelter.
The second unmarked route is recommended when most of the snow has disappeared. From the top of the Waterfall Express chairlift travel over to your right past pylons indicating the Knoll Ridge t-bar line and over to Restful Ridge. Stay on Restful Ridge as you climb towards the Crater area. You will go up a series of rises. The terrain is mainly rock. At the top of Restful Ridge, there is a more open face. At this point, you may see a narrow foot track zigzagging up the face and onto Dome Ridge. Follow along Dome Ridge to Dome Shelter.
Return to chairlifts via same route. The lifts close at 4.00 pm daily. Should conditions deteriorate during the day the lifts may have to be closed earlier.
Lunch on top of the North Island highest volcano from where you can gaze down into the geothermal waters of the crater lake. On your way up and down take time to enjoy the truly spectacular views.
Alert/Important notice - Volanic alert
16 November 2012: Increased likelihood of eruptions at Ruapehu - we recommend that trampers and climbers do not enter the Summit Hazard Zone until further notice. Read about the increased likelihood of eruptions http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-doc/news/media-releases/warning-to-people-climbing-mt-ruapehu/
The price ($225.00 pp), and includes your guide/s, lunch, return transport accommodation pick-ups from National Park Village or Whakapapa Village, additional footwear and clothing (if required), and a delightful post-trip refreshment.
Transfers are available for Taupo and Turangi - $75.00 pp.
Twin Mountains Package
Walk the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, while being guided by the best at Adrift Outdoor Guided Adventures. This breathtaking one-day walk offers a majestic landscape of recent resultant volcanic activity. There is a vast array of colours and textures created from sulfur, aluminum, silica, and many other mineral deposits released from within the earth’s crust. In summer, this track can be crowded and, where possible, we take our clients away from the masses, while making sure that the popular sights are still experienced. Another very unique option we offer that avoids the summer crowds is the pre-dawn departure trip. This walk has you on the top of Red Crater watching the sun rise in unique lighting and with the peaceful, still, quiet moments of the dawn.
Enjoy an outstanding one-day walk to Ruapehu Crater Lake. Mt Ruapehu is the largest of the three volcanoes and its last eruption was in 2007. Ruapehu’s crater holds about 10 million cubic metres of water with a layer of liquid sulfur lining the bottom. The lake changes colour from an amazing deep green to pale blue to solid dark grey depending on the crater’s temperature. Mt Ruapehu has eight small glaciers on its high flanks and they are the only glaciers in the North Island. Ruapehu has three ski-fields and usually a scenic chair-lift ride starts the walk off into the cool crisp air. The Ruapehu Crater Lake is not a poled or marked track and guides are strongly recommended – at Adrift we have this covered for you!
The summer price (normally $450pp, now just $399pp) includes your guide/s, lunch, return transport accommodation pick-ups from National Park Village or Whakapapa Village, additional footwear and clothing (if required) and a delightful post-trip refreshment.
Transfers are also available for Taupo and Turangi - $75.00 pp.