Hiking & Walking Trails

Forest Lodge is situated on the Te Aroroa Trail at the beginning of the 42nd Traverse.

Whether it be 5 minutes or 5 days, there is something suitable for everyone.   Most of these walks are within 30 minutes of Forest Lodge.

The Whanganui and Tongariro National Parks offer superb access to some of the most breath-taking scenery on the planet. Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area. The status recognises the park’s important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as outstanding volcanic features.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

A good level of fitness is required for this tramp, it is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. It passes over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngaruahoe, crossing unique landforms, volcanic craters and glacial valleys. Allow 5-7 hours.

There are other walks in the area that can be planned around The Northern Circuit, overnight in one of 4 huts for multi day walks.

42nd  Traverse

Beginning in Owhango the 42nd Traverse, named after State Forest 42, is a 45 km shared track on old logging roads and very much a wilderness walk through regenerating native forest rich with birdlife and has amazing views. The walk usually takes two days. There is a hut at 30 km but many people camp in the grassy areas beside the track.

Tama Lakes

Beginning in Whakapapa village this is a 17km track up to the lakes that occupy old explosion craters on Tama Saddle between Ruapehu and Ngaruahoe. Allow 5-6 hours return.

Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake

Starting at the top of the Whakapapa ski field where you can take the Sky Waka to the Knoll Chalet. Stick to the route as signposted as it is easy to get lost. After about 3 hours you will reach Dome Shelter overlooking the crater lake where major “landscaping” has taken place during the eruptions of 1995 and 1996. Allow 5 hours.

There are many other walks in the Tongariro National Park, Tawhai Falls Walk, a short 20 min return walk.

Silica Rapid Walk. A 2-3-hour loop from Whakapapa village following an unusually coloured stream taking you to the rapids that have been coloured by the mineral deposits. Great views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe.

Lake Rotopounamu. This beautiful lake is nestled on the side of Mt Pihanga and is popular with tree lovers, bird watchers and swimmers.

Ohinetangi Scenic Walk. Our renowned local walk, beginning 500 metres from the lodge, winds through native trees and ferns to the Ohinetangi Lagoon and then on to the giant Totara tree and then down to the Whakapapa River. At this spot there is an infamous swimming hole. The trail follows the river along past rapids and deep pools then uphill to the beginning of the loop. Allow at least 1 hour to allow time to pause and admire the views. This reserve is being cared for by a group of volunteers of Owhango Alive, who manage the traps in the reserve in the quest to be predator free. Kiwi can sometimes be heard in the evenings, a promising outcome.