Mt Ruapehu Walks in Summer

Walk to Mt Ruapehu's Crater Lake 

Walking up Mt Ruapehu


Walking to the crater lake of Mt Ruapehu is one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have. It’s a chance to see a live volcano up close, complete a climb to the top of one of New Zealand’s highest peaks outside the Southern Alps and see the mountain from a whole different perspective.

How to get there

Guided crater lake walks are led by experienced guides at an easy pace, so there’s plenty of time for rest breaks and informative talks. There is a high chance of snow even in summer.

You can take a guided walk with the team at Mt Ruapehu or Adrift Tongariro Guides.

What to bring

The following gear is essential if you want to complete the Crater Lake Walk:

  • Sturdy tramping boots (not runners or gumboots) – these are available to hire at the Whakapapa retail shop
  • Waterproof jacket and over trousers - also available to hire at the Whakapapa retail shop
  • unglasses and sunscreen
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Lunch and refreshments

You’ll need to have a reasonable level of fitness and be able to walk for 5 hours with rest stops.

Shorter Mt Ruapehu Walks

Skyline Ridge Walk

Skyline Ridge is a walk that can be done from Knoll Ridge Café in approximately 1.5 to 2 hours return. The route climbs up Skyline Ridge to an altitude of 2300m, and you are rewarded at the top by sweeping views of Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo. Further information on the Skylne Ridge Walk is available from the retail store at Whakapapa Ski Area.

Meads Wall Walk

Meads Wall is a spectacular volcanic rock formation popular with rock climbers and sightseers. It has more recently become known as the location where parts of The Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed. Meads Wall is a 30 minute walk on a marked trail leaving from the Whakapapa Ski Area. 

Please note: these tracks are not Department of Conservation tracks. They are administered by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.

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