21.5 km Time: 10 to 12 hours 42 km south of Turangi, near the Desert Road summit, a car park and signpost indicate the start of the access corridor. The route is poled as far as the bush line above Otamateanui Stream. A marked track descends through the beech forest steeply into Otamateanui Stream. Carry on down the stream 7 km to its confluence with the Rangitikei River. Beware most of this route follows the army land boundary, so please keep to this route for your own safety.
There are many opportunities in Kaimanawa Forest Park for backcountry travel along untracked river valleys and open tops. However, these routes are not marked and those using them need to be experienced, well-prepared and familiar with navigation in isolated country.
There are many great picnic spots along the Rangitikei River. A particular family favourite can be found Just north of Mangaweka. When driving north (from Mangaweka) on SH1, turn eastward onto Mangawharariki Road and continue driving for 1.2 km until you reach the Mangaweka Camping ground on your right. At this picnic area you will find several tracks that lead down the river. From here you can take one of the many paths that lead to different sections of the river. It's a great location for family days out.
It's one of the best walks in the world. The "crossing" will take you through a volcanic alpine landscape with breathtaking scenery. You will see steaming vents, beautiful crater lakes, glacial valleys, alpine vegetation and more - all with stunning views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro and the central plateau. However, although beautiful, it can be dangerous if you're not fully prepared to enter an alpine environment with unpredictable weather changes. Ensure transport is arranged to drop you at the beginning of the track and pick you up at the end of the day.
Experience the magnificent cycle trail along most of the historic Ohakune Coach Road between Ohakune Station and Horopito. This part of the Ruapehu to Whanganui “Nga Ara Tuhono” cycle trail, also called “Nga Haerenga,” is the first of the national cycleway ‘quick start’ projects to be launched. The planned trail will go all the way from Ohakune to Horopito, then along Middle Road to Ruatiti. Then from Ruatiti through the Mangapurua Valley, across the “Bridge to Nowhere” and finish on the banks of the Whanganui River at the Mangapurua Landing. From the landing it will be a jet boat ride to Pipiriki, then a long cycle ride down River Road to Wanganui.