Driving the Alpine Ohakune Mountain Road in NZ

Ohakune Mountain Road is a sealed road with sweeping views located in the North Island of New Zealand. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.

Ohakune Mountain Road

When was the Ohakune Mountain Road built?

Located at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the scenic road was opened in 1963 and declared a legal road in 1973.

How long is Ohakune Mountain Road?

Set high in the Tongariro National Park, the road is totally sealed. It’s 16.2 km (10 miles) long. It tops out at 1.630m (5,347ft) above sea level. Huge-leafed mountain cabbage trees with silvery under-sided leaves dot the roadside. A chairlift service road (-39.298138, 175.547266) climbs up to 2.052m (6,732ft) above the sea level.

Is Ohakune Mountain Road steep?

Starting at Old Station Road, the elevation gain is 1015 meters. The average gradient is 6.26%, with some parts up to 15%.

Is Ohakune Mountain Road open?

It is usually open all year round, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Weather conditions can be changeable over the day, and mountain visitors are advised to be prepared and carry basic survival equipment. This is an alpine environment, so the weather can change quickly and it can get cold. Although severe weather is unusual and generally forecast, it has claimed several lives over the years, including a party of five soldiers and one naval rating, caught in a week-long storm while undergoing winter survival training in 1990. During the ski season (June–late October), the upper section is likely to be blanketed in snow and is off-limits to cyclists.

How long does it take to drive the Ohakune Mountain Road?

Allow 20 minutes to drive without any stop. The road offers stunning views. It’s said to be one of the most picturesque drives in the country. On a clear day, you can see as far as the South Island. Along the way on the road are numerous points of interest. There is cellphone reception, although it may be patchy in places.