Whakapapa is a skifield in winter, but is worth visiting in summer for its convenient road access up the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. You can visit the Department of Conservation visitor center there and enjoy some short walks, from 30 minutes up. If you’re not doing the Tongariro Crossing but would still like to do a longer hike, without having to take a shuttle, consider the Tama Lakes walk. Whakapapa is a 13km drive off the main highway.

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