So, we have been a bit quiet recently because are working in a hostel in Ohakune as Assistant Managers. Ohakune is a cool little town. Its not on the backpacker scene and I want to make it my own personal mission to get it there because it should be. Its a backpackers perfect location - adventure, adrenaline and cheap beer!
So yes, we are bias because we are looking after a hostel at the moment. But there is no shortage of places to stay in Ohakune if you were looking elsewhere and didn't want pure awesomeness. If however you require pure awesomeness in your accommodation needs - look no further than LKNZ Lodge! It has cheap beds, $5 beer and even cheaper in Happy Hour, delicious toasties, Suit Up Tuesdays, games nights, hot tubs and a cat called puss. Seriously...what else do you need! There's 2 parts to Ohakune. The sensible side and the crazy party side. LKNZ is located in the perfect position. We are in the sensible end - near the shops, banks and foody places and its only a 2km walk or a $5 shuttle to the Junction where the party happens. (This is only the case from July to October though, in Summer I believe this end of town shuts down and not a lot stays open) Thus making LKNZ Lodge in the perfect position for the whooole year :)
You can do anything in Ohakune or just outside - from Snowboarding (seasonal) to the worlds greatest one day hike to bungys, to...... driving a golf buggy down a railway track to a town that got left out of NewZealand so you can get your passport stamped there. No seriously!!
Tongariro Crossing: Ohakune is on the edge of Tongariro National Park - its a 40 minute shuttle to the start of the track, In the Summer the shuttle runs every day and in the Winter it is completely weather dependant and must be guided as it is dangerous without. This is a must do. Just do it. Its incredible.
Mountain Biking: Ohakune is great for Mountain Biking Tracks. From just a little ride with the family down the river track, or the historic Old Coach Road Track to the intense 42 Traverse Track. There's plenty of hire places for bikes (including our Lodge) and there are shuttles around to take you to the starting points where needed.
Walks & Hikes: If you don't feel up to the while Crossing there are plenty of shorter walks and hikes you can do in and around Ohakune. And its such a beautiful town.
Adreneline Junkies: Taupo bungy and skydive, white water rafting and everything else that makes you want to kiss the ground when you get back to it is only 1.5 hours away. Taihepe (home to the giant Gumboot) is only 40 mins away and there is a Bungy and Swing there too!
The giant Carrot and eclairs as big as your head. I will leave you to figure that out. :)
So how do I get to this awesome little town I hear you cry? Intercity or Naked bus run through most days. A hint though - if you can get a lift to Taihepe, Turangi, Palmerstone North or Wanganui then do. It just makes the bus journey a little less painful from/to Wellington or Auckland.
I believe Ohakune has everything you need. Even just for passing through it is great. But I would highly recommend if you are around for the Winter, get a job and stick around for a bit because its fab. As a keen runner, sometimes I will run towards the mountain on a clear day and I just find it completely mesmerising every time. Its stunning. The only sad thing is it isn't busier in the Summer so a lot of places close down. Definitely make the effort to come to Ohakune. It has a giant carrot!