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Tongariro National Park in Summer

Mount Ruapehu Summer Chair Lift Rides

To enjoy a king’s view (the easy way), take a chair-lift ride up Mount Ruapehu to the Knoll Ridge Chalet – 2,020 metres above sea level.

At 2,020 metres above sea level, Knoll Ridge is the highest café in New Zealand!

Relax on the wide, sunny deck and enjoy a delicious lunch or even a wine or beer at the highest café in New Zealand
On a clear day you will enjoy awe-inspiring views above you to up to Ruapehu’s apex, and out and beyond for miles upon miles, of Tongariro National Park and the central North Island. The Café also has an excellent photographic exhibition of Mount Ruapehu eruptions.

For further information on Mount Ruapehu, please click here to visit

Hike to the Crater Lake

After a scenic chairlift ride to Knoll Ridge Chalet, join a guided walk to Mount Ruapehu’s spectacular Crater Lake. During the summer and autumn months, these guided walks depart daily (weather permitting), at the speed of the group’s slowest person.

With your professional and experienced local guide, you’ll hike through awe-inspiring alpine scenery to an altitude of 2,670 metres! Your upward journey ends at Dome Shelter, which overlooks the Crater Lake. Dome Shelter is in fact one of the seismological survey stations on the volcano. See the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ruapehu’s summit above you and Mounts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe below.

On your journey, you’ll learn the eruptive history of the mountain, and see the remains of the volcano’s most recent eruption. The hike takes around 6 hours (return), stopping often along the way for fascinating talks and photo opportunities.

Non-guided Walks on Mt Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu offers a good number of walks for all ages and fitness levels. Maps are available at the Whakapapa Ski Field and the Whakapapa Visitor Centre (a short stroll from the Chateau Tongariro). All walks can be easily followed and are marked out by poles and can be easily followed.

One such popular walk is called the Mead’s Wall Walk. This gentle 30 minute walk takes you through both volcanic and cinematic history, as Mead’s Wall was one of the filming locations for the Lord of The Rings movies. This very area provided the stunning other-worldly landscapes for Mordor, Mount Doom and Emyn Miul. An epic battle between Orcs, Elves and men took place in the area around Mead’s Wall. 

DOC Summer Programme

Join the knowledgeable DOC staff and volunteers and get active in the Tongariro Nation Park this summer.  There are some great activities to suit everyone.  See the events programme for details
To enjoy a king’s view (the easy way), take a chair-lift ride up Mount Ruapehu to the Knoll Ridge Chalet – 2,020 metres above sea level.

Click here to read more about Department of Conservation walks in the Central Plateau area.
Phone: +64 7 892 3809
NZ Freephone: 0800 CHATEAU (242 832)
Chateau Tongariro
State Highway 48, Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand
Fax: +64 7 892 3704    email us
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