Mt Ruapehu: Guided Walk to the Crater Lake 2018-06-19T10:36:00+00:00

Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake

Guided Walk

Adrift Tongariro offers a full-day Ruapehu Guided Walk for those who want a challenge! Mt. Ruapehu is the highest (2797m) of the three active volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park. The last eruption of Mt. Ruapehu was in 2007.

Join us for lunch on top of the North Island highest volcano from where you can gaze down into the geothermal waters of the crater lake.

There is no formed track on Mt Ruapheu. The terrain is natural, rocky and steep. Crampons and ice-axes maybe required if there is snow and ice on the route. No experience is required as your guide will show you everything you need to use them safely on this hiking adventure.

The walk begins at the Whakapapa ski area on Mt. Ruapehu at the top of the Bruce Road. There may be an option of taking a chairlift up to Knoll Ridge Cafe. This option will depend on the fitness of the group on the day, and if the chairlifts are operating. Payment for the chairlift is about $35 pp and is made to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (situated at the start of the walk). The lifts close at 4.00 pm daily. Should conditions deteriorate, the lifts may have to be closed earlier.

adrift mt ruapehu
Adrift Crater Lake

Details and FAQ’s

Meeting place: Adrift Tongariro, 53 Carroll Street, National Park Village. Ph: +64 7 892 2751

Meeting time: 08:30 am or 09:00 am. Telephone Adrift the day prior and we will confirm the exact meeting time.

Parking: Plenty of street parking with no change or time restrictions

Outdoor experience: None is required with this guided trip for either summer or winter

Fitness level: A reasonably good level of fitness is required. This walk is very steep and at altitude. The walking pace is moderate and steady. If you are concerned about your fitness please let your guide know before commencing the walk, as there are options we can discuss with you.

Walking time and distance: Walking time is about 5-6 hours. Distance is about 10 kms return

What if I’m a fast/slow walker? Your guide (or guides) will manage the different walking speeds of the group. If you are extremely fast or slow, then a privately guided trip could be an excellent option.

Is it suitable for children? For children under 12 years of age, a privately guided trip is recommended. Alpine conditions are not suitable for babies and toddlers.

Can I have a private guide? Absolutely. Click here to find out more.

What do I need? Check out the gear list on this page.

What if I don’t have the proper gear? Adrift has an extensive range of clothing and footwear for those without their own. On the morning of the trip, we check your gear and can fit you with whatever you may need.

Do you have minimum numbers? Yes, trips operate on a minimum of 2 persons.

I’m a solo traveller. Is this ok? If you are traveling alone we will match you with another group where possible. Please feel free to contact us to check up-coming booking dates. Email: [email protected] or Telephone: +64 7 8922751

How do I know if the trip is cancelled? If you have any concerns about the weather, please speak to Adrift directly. Obtaining advice from other parties can lead to incorrect information about your trip.

When can I go? This trip operates on demand. Pick a day and we will schedule it in.

How to book? Click on the “Book Now” button to make a booking on our secure booking platform. Alternatively telephone Adrift Tongariro Ph: +64 7 8922751.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to booking your adventure.

Can I get return transfers from Whakapapa Village, Turangi, Taupo or Ohakune? Yes you can. These locations attract an additional service and cost. When booking your trip, select your pick-up location. Minimum numbers apply. Telephone Adrift the day prior for exact pick-up times.

Meeting/pick-up times

The meeting times below can be approximate. If you have paid for transfers it is essential you phone Adrift Tongariro the day prior to the trip date. This is so we can advise on the weather and confirm your exact pick-up time as these can vary. Telephone +64 7 892 2751 or 0800 462374

Adrift Tongariro Base
Pick up 8:00am / Drop off 5:30pm

Whakapapa Village
Pick up 8:30am / Drop off 5:30pm

Pick up 7:15am / Drop off 5:45pm

Pick up 7:30am / Drop off 6:00pm

Taupo CBD
Pick up 6:30am / Drop off 6:30pm

Price Includes

Guide/s, return transport from the Adrift Tongariro shop in National Park Village and the activity, lunch, crampon and ice axes if required, and a clothing and footwear hire allowance.

Gear List

Required Gear: Water (2 litres), Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc), sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, warm gloves and hat, 1 x backpack per person, hiking boots, lightweight walking trousers, 1 x light weight top base layer and 2 x warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are great fabrics), and a waterproof raincoat. On wet/windy days, over-trousers and/or thermal longs are required and a change of clothing can be handy to change into after the walk. Adrift supplies your lunch. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

Gear Hire

Adrift Tongariro has equipment for hire. This includes footwear and clothing to supplement anything you may not have, or have forgotten on the day. We can supply: boots, socks, thermal longs, fleece longs, over-trousers, thermal tops, fleece tops, waterproof raincoats, warm gloves, warm hats, sun hats, sunglasses, backpacks, walking poles and sleeping bags and liners. We check and provide gear hire on the morning of your trip.


It is important you phone Adrift Tongariro 24 hours prior to your trip date to discuss exact timings and we will also advise on the weather. Ph +64 7 892 2751.

Terms and Conditions
Please refer to the Terms and Conditions prior to booking your trip with us.