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Mt Ruapehu Sky Field

Home  »  North Island Walks  »  National Park  »  Mt Ruapehu Sky Field – Walk detail

You can buy a walkers ticket for the chair lift up to the Mt Ruapehu sky field. This will give you a one only ride up the mountain. The ride up to the top can also be very cold even on a fine day so take a warm jacket with you. Stunning mountain views.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island
        • Distance: 0 km
        • Time needed: Stay the whole day if you have the time
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 2300m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    There is no shortage of snow in the winter time for skiing. Try walking up to the top of Mt Ruapehu and digging a snow cave. Let the ski patrol know before you set off. Plenty of day walks around the base of the mountain in the alpine bush. Most of the walks start around the Chateau.

  • Track Quality

    Snow and more snow

  • Hazards

    Cold freezing weather. Steep cliffs and lots of tourist.

  • Transport

    Buses every day from Taupo and National park township.

  • Water

    Not a problem

  • Driving Instructions

    Drive south through the National Park for about 200m. On the left is the highway 47 to Taupo and Whakapapa Village. Drive on for 8.8km to the turn off to Whakapapa Village. Turn right on to highway 48, drive 6.1km to reach the Village. From the village you can drive to the Bruce in your car or take the mountain goat 4×4 bus up to the top.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Plenty of food at the Chateau Hotel. And burgers at the local pub just down the road down and at the water fall chair lift kiosk.

  • Area & Track History


  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Mt Ruapehu Sky Field

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Mt Ruapehu Sky Field

The drive to National Park can be very interesting on a fine day. With a pair of binoculars you can pick out the Ketetahi hut 15540m up the south side of Mt Tongariro. Mt Tongariro is 1909m high. You will also catch a glimpse of the ski fields at Whakapapa, 1700m up the western side of Mt Ruapehu.  If the road is too icy the main gate will be closed. They will only let cars with snow chains fitted to their tyres past the gate and 4×4 cars. The other option is to take the 4×4 bus up to the top; this is the best option because you will be dropped off at the cafes front door. On a busy weekend if the car park is almost full, you could have a long uphill walk to your coffee. You can hire boots, jackets etc at the ski hire centre next to the cafe.

Point 2: Mt Ruapehu Sky Field

You can buy a walkers ticket for the chair lift. This will give you a one only ride up the mountain. The ride up to the top can also be very cold even on a fine day so take a warm jacket with you.  The wind can whistle around the base of the mountain sending the wind chill factor to below 0. Plus the chair lift has been known to stop half way to the top. You can buy hot food and drinks at the waterfall chair lift cafe. If you are thinking of walking, or sliding back down the mountain, take a very thick plastic bag with you. So you can sit on the bag and slide back down the mountain to the car. But be very careful when crossing the downhill racers lanes. The last photo of Ruapehu sitting above the tarn was taken on the silica rapids walk.

All walks in National Park…

Want to share your walking and hiking tips and advice? Got questions? Visit the our Facebook Group, ask questions, get answers, meet people, post photos and share your walking experiences! We’d love to hear from you.

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Contact info

Mt Tongariro, Manawatu-Wanganui 3989, New Zealand

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