Ohakune is the capital of the carrot in New Zealand, and you can have your own photo with the giant carrot at the entrance of the town.
The main reasons to stop and stay in Ohakune are the ski fields on Mount Ruapehu in winter, and/or exploring the Tongariro National Park the rest of the year. For the winter time, Turoa Ski Field, on the south part of Mount Ruapehu, is only about thirty minutes away; shuttles run from Ohakune, so they can pick you up from your hostel. Whakapapa Ski Field is further but bigger, on the west part of Mount Ruapehu, approximately fifty minutes away.
The hostels in Ohakune are along the main road, on each side of the town, and a few in the town center. So you can choose your hostel in Ohakune near the railway station and closer to the access to the ski fields, or a bit downtown to be close to the supermarket and restaurants. If you choose a hostel near the railway station, the one-way walk along the Old Coach Road is worth it, but you will have to find a way to come to or come back from Horopito, which is the other end of the walk.
You can also stay in an Ohakune hostel to enjoy the Tongariro National Park and the Tongariro Crossing, which is really busy in summer -- it is the most popular great walk in New Zealand. But the whole national park has a lot to offer, such as the Round The Mountain Track of Mount Ruapehu. Or, if tramping is too long or demanding for you, you can enjoy some nice short walks from your Ohakune hostel, like the Mangawhero Forest Walk and Rimu Track, or from Ohakune center, like in the Jubilee Park or along the Mangawhero River.
Hi, I'm Cleopatra,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Ohakune hostels. Welcome.