Wondrous Ohakune

Ohakune is one of the towns of the Northern Island of New Zealand. South of the famous Tongariro National Park and just beside the active Mt. Ruapeho Volcano.

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The town is famous during winter time (June-August) which is a haven for skiers and people who love snow sports. The town also caters biking, horse riding and trekking adventure.

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The Ohakune Isite is at the center of the town where you can book your tour or trips going to Mt. Ruapeho or any other trek site you want to go. The Isite is full of information regarding the activities that Ohakune has to offer.

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Ohakune Isite

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Going There:

  • Via Car or own rentals:
    • Auckland to Ohakune: 359.1 km and it’s 4 hours and 30 minutes drive
    • Wellington to Ohakune: 256.6 km and it’s 3 hours and 35 minutes drive
  • Commuters: Early booking can give you discount deals
    • Naked Bus: Discounted: 10 NZD> Normal Fare: 30-40 NZD one way 6-7 hours travel time from Auckland City
    • Intercity: Normal Fare: 30-40 NZD one way 6-7 hours travel time from Auckland City
    • KiwiRail: 60 NZD< 6-7 hours travel time 6-7 hours travel time from Auckland City
    • Travel from Wellington is one hour earlier.

Accommodation: There are a lot of Motels, Hostels and Hotels that you can book in the area and if you are travelling with some friends or family it is practical to rent a Bach.

  • Special thanks to the owners of Hobbit Motor Lodge, Maxine and Wayne for making our 5 days stay in Ohakune a nice and comfortable one.

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Activities:

  • Trekking/Biking to Old Coach Railroad:
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On the way to the Old Coach Road.

From Marshalls Road Car Park to Hapuawhenua Viaduct: On foot: 2 hours/ 6.8 km Via Bike: 1 hour

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Some of the signs and boards that explains the history of the Old Coach Road

The track follows the Ohakune Old Coach road all the way through vast farmland with spectacular views over the Ohakune Basin. It then heads towards the Hapuawhenua Viaduct. Along the way, you can also explore the Hapuawhenua Tunnel.

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Hapuawhenua Tunnel.

At the Hapuawhenua Viaduct you can see the view of the rain forest and the new Viaduct where trains passes at present.

The Haupawhenua Viadut

The Hapuawhenua Viadut

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The New Viaduct

PS: Use good trekking shoes and warm water proof clothing especially when it’s raining. Weather during winter is unpredictable and the pathway is slippery and dangerous.

  • The Jubilee Park Walkway: Near the Ohakune Isite

It’s a 15 minute walk inside a small sanctuary of woods crossing a stream. 30 minutes walk from the entrance of Jubilee Park Way to Ohakune Carrot.

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Jubilee Walk way entrance

The Ohakune Carrot’s History:

In the early 1980’s a social event of well oiled producers in their bar, the Ohakune Hotel, they hit upon the thought of a landmark to their industry which around then was being tested for transcendence in the monetary existence of the town by people who wore sheets on their feet.

Peter Hammond alongside different producers figured out that a large fiber glass carrot which has been utilized as a part of an ANZ Bank advancement was accessible and secured the carrot we see today.

The carrot was authoritatively opened by the NZ Prime Minister Jim Bolger and the Ohakune Mayor Bill Taylor in 1984.

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  • Mangawhero Falls: Time 5-10 minutes return using own car

The track begins from the carpark  on the Ohakune Mountain Road. This short walk provides magnificent views of the wonderful waterfall. Sometimes icicles form around during winter.

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Mangawhero Falls:Photo courtesy of world of waterfalls

  • Waitonga Falls Track: Time: 1 1/2 hours, 4 km return via same track

Begins on the Ohakune Mountain Road. The waterfall measures 39 metres. 

This photo of Walking Legends Guided Walks is courtesy of TripAdvisor

  • Mangawhero Forest Walk and Rimu Walk: Time 1 hr return and 15 min return

These two tracks begin at the same place, Ohakune Mountain Road.

Photo Courtesy of DOCNZ files

Photo Courtesy of DOCNZ files

Our Story: It is winter in New Zealand, and as Filipinos we are pretty much excited to see snow for the very first time. We all know Philippines is a tropical country and there is zero snow except maybe for hails. Our trip was mid June. I booked a ticket on Naked Bus weeks before the said date and it was only 24 nzd return per person plus booking fee of 5 nzd from Auckland City to Ohakune.

The bus picked us up at 9:10 am in the morning at 172 Quay street. We changed bus at Turangi area. We arrived at Ohakune at around 4:00 pm, the bus stop is outside Harvey World Travel, 27 Clyde street. The travel is exhausting but the view along the way is spectacular. There are times that I want to sleep during the travel but the scenery of the northern Island is a must see.

Our accommodation, Hobbit Motorlodge is a 15 minute walk from the Ohakune Isite. My partner and I booked one room with bunk beds and has its own television. Toilet, shower, and kitchen area are common but clean. The owner Mr. Wayne booked us a return travel from Ohakune town center to Turoa Ski area for 25 nzd per person for the next day.

The next day, we woke up early and excited for our snow trip. Before 7:00 am we were pretty much ready and just waiting for the transportation to pick us up at 8:00 am. At 7:30 am Ms. Maxine informed us that the mountain will be close for the day because the weather is bad and it is too dangerous to accommodate people. We are disappointed because we only got one day to spare for the trip to Ruapeho and the next day will be our return to Auckland. In order for us to have enough time, we decided to move our bus booking and Maxine help us re-book our ticket.

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On that day, we roam around the town center in order to maximize our stay.

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One option is to use a bike to explore the streets but it was too expensive and it was beyond our budget so we decided to just walk on foot. We went to the Jubilee pathway and it was a 15 minute walk on the woods.

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The Totara Log

The walk is brief and is not enough so we decided to go for a much more complicated trek. We went to the Old Coach Railroad. We thought it was only an hour return trek but it was not. We went there with no appropriate shoes and trekking clothes. We first ate lunch back at our accommodation before continuing. At around 1:30 pm we started our walk.

From our accommodation to the Marshalls road car park is a 45 minute walk/ 3.5 km and from there going to Hapuawhenua Viaduct is a 2 hour trek. At that time the sky darken and soft rain began to pour. Halfway, we almost decided not to continue because of the weather but we still pursued.

SONY DSCThere are great sites along the way. You can see the vast farm lands and hills and as you continue further, a variety of bushes and trees are seen. The forest is magnificent and at the same time frightening.

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After two hours of trekking we arrived at the Hapuawhenua Viaduct, we were only there for a couple of minutes to take some pictures and be on our way back.

We arrived at our accommodation at almost 7:00 pm, we were hungry, tired and exhausted but it was worth it.

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