Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake Guided Walk
For those who want a little more try a full day Ruapehu Guided Walk.
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. 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. Please note this is not a track and is less stable walking than on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
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 $35 pp and is made to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (situated at the start of the walk). Taking the chairlift is not compulsory. The lifts close at 4.00 pm daily. Should conditions deteriorate during the day the lifts may have to be closed earlier.
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.
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Guide/s, return transfers from the Adrift Tongariro base, lunch, all equipment required (including crampons and ice axes for winter), footwear and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need up to a $40 free allowance ($10 per item).
Transfers: Pick up / Drop off
Tour starts and finishes at the Adrift Tongariro Base.
Adrift Tongariro Base: Pick up 8:00am / Drop off 5:30pm
Whakapapa Village: Pick up 8:30am / Drop off 5:30pm
Turangi: Pick up 7:15am / Drop off 5:45pm
Ohakune: Pick up 7:30am / Drop off 6:00pm
Taupo CBD: Pick up 6:30am / Drop off 6:30pm
Adrift Tongariro Base: Pick up 7:00am / Drop off 5:30pm
Turangi: Pick up 6:40am / Drop off 6:00pm
Taupo CBD: Pick up 6:00am / Drop off 6:30pm
- All times are approximate
- Summer 1 October - 30 April, Winter 1 May - 30 September
- Return transfers from the Adrift Tongariro base (53 Carroll St, National Park Village) are included in the price.
- All other transfers an additional charge applies.
- We do not offer Whakapapa Village and Ohakune transfers in winter.
- All transfers require a minimum of 2 people.
Water (1-2 litres), Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc), sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, backpack per person, hiking boots/shoes, walking trousers, 1 light top and 2 warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are good layers), Waterproof raincoat.
Water (1-1.5 litres), Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc), sunscreen, sunglasses, backpack per person, hiking boots, thermal longs and/or walking trousers & over-trousers, 3 warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are good layers), Waterproof raincoat, Warm hat and gloves.
Gear For Hire
Adrift Tongariro has available for hire equipment, footwear and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need including boots, socks, thermal longs, fleece longs, waterproof pants, thermal tops, fleece tops, waterproof tops, warm gloves, warm hats, sun hats, sunglasses, backpacks, walking poles and sleeping bags and liners.
Fitness and Experience
Please note this is not a track and is less stable walking than on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
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.
How To Make a Booking
Before making a booking, read all the terms & conditions
There are three ways to make a booking. Please choose the option that best suits you.
- Book on-line with the Book-it button shown on each web page. Follow the simple instructions.
- By telephone for personal service. A credit card number will be required to confirm your booking.
- By email. Please email at least 3 days prior to your trip date. A credit card number will be required to confirm your booking.
Clients will need to contact Adrift between 5:30-7:30pm the night prior to the trip departure. Adrift will then advise on weather conditions for the next day and confirm meeting places and times.