Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre

Image: DOC


This alpine village is located within Tongariro National Park, at the base of Mount Ruapehu.


The village is the main entrance into the Tongariro National Park and many walking tracks. Whakapapa Ski Area is located 6 km up the Bruce Road from Whakapapa Village.

Services include:

  • visitor centre and DOC office
  • convenience store at the holiday park
  • cafes, restaurants, bars
  • hiking equipment rental
  • shelter and toilets
  • parking areas – these have a time limit in winter

Place overview


  • Camping
  • Walking and tramping

Find things to do and places to stay Whakapapa Village area

About this place

Getting there

From State Highway 47 going north or south, take the clearly signposted turn-off onto State Highway 48. It is about a 4 hr 30 min drive from either Auckland or Wellington.

Know before you go

Parking restrictions

Parking in Whakapapa Village is restricted to between 15 mins and 3 hrs during the winter season. There are signs showing which restrictions apply to each area. These restrictions are to allow  day visitors access to services and amenities in the Village.

Overnight parking and parking longer than 3 hrs

To park longer than 3 hrs you need a parking permit from the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre. Parking permits can also allow you to park for many days and overnight.

Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre.

Parking if you’re using accommodation providers

Accommodation providers in Whakapapa Village have allocated parking and can arrange for shuttle services to pick up their customers directly from the accommodation.

How to get to Whakapapa Ski Area

Weather and road conditions can lead to closure of the Bruce Rd, or restrictions on vehicles which can use it. These include:

  • 2WD with chains
  • 4WD
  • chains on all vehicles.

During winter when carparks at Whakapapa Ski Area (Iwikau Village) are full, the Bruce Road is closed to private vehicles.

A car parking booking system has been introduced for peak weekends at Whakapapa and Tūroa Ski Areas. You need to book a car park online for weekends from 25 July to 27 September 2020.

Book a carpark and find out Bruce Road status.

Shuttles services to Whakapapa Ski Area are available from National Park Village and other local towns. There are no shuttles available from Whakapapa Village to Whakapapa Ski Area. 

Booking your shuttle in advance is recommended. 

Book a shuttle to Whakapapa Ski Area.


Temperatures at the village can be as cold as -10°C or as warm as 25°C. Frosts can occur at any time of the year. Often the overnight temperatures are below freezing in the winter months.

At Whakapapa the annual rainfall is about 2200 mm, while on the Desert Road side it is only 1250 mm.

Often during winter snow falls at the village, and sometimes to lower levels. However for the most part, the winter snowline is above the village.

Find out more about the weather in Tongariro National Park


Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 7 892 3729
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Whakapapa Village
State Highway 48
Mount Ruapehu
Postal Address:   PO Box 71029
Whakapapa Village
Mount Ruapehu 3951
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