When New Zealand comes to mind, what do you think about? The first thing might be the Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit as New Zealand was the famous filming locations of this epic film franchise. But, New Zealand is not only famous for its filming locations, it’s also very well known for its natural wonders, food and its interesting activities.
Did you know that there is a unique town in New Zealand known for its carrot giant carrot statue? It is located in Ohakune and it is a testament to the town’s reputation as the source of much of the country’s carrots! Besides this, Ohakune is popular for its outdoor activities, like hiking and skiing, as well as its events, like Mardi Gras.
1. Mountain Bike Station
There are plenty of outdoor activities to consider while you are visiting Ohakune, but cycling is highly recommended. Instead of the usual tour on foot, you can rent a bicycle with Mountain Bike Station and join a group to see the nature of the town. If you plan to cycle around Ohakune and enjoy its scenic views, then you need to book in advance, online.
There are various mountain bike adventures to choose from when booking with Mountain Bike Station and you can refer to the website. They offer exceptional service and cater to all groups and levels. So, don’t worry if you are just a beginner and they have bikes suitable for kids, too. For bike rental rates kindly refer to the website.
Mountain Bike Station
Address: 27 Goldfinch St, Ohakune 4625, New Zealand
Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 am-5 pm
Website: Mountain Bike Station
2. Waitonga Falls Track
Another attraction you must visit is Waitonga Falls. Apart from the majestic waterfall, you must take a walk along the trail near the waterfall. Waitonga Falls is strategically located within Tongariro National Park, which is a natural paradise for nature lovers, hikers, campers and tourists, who want to explore the surrounding areas.
Make sure your camera is on standby mode if you want to take group photos. Did you know that Waitonga Falls is the highest waterfall in the national park? Besides that, the trail that you will be walking on will take you through a forest of kaikawaka and mountain beech.
Waitonga Falls Track
Address: Ohakune Mountain Rd, Tongariro National Park 4691, New Zealand
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 24 hours
Website: Waitonga Falls Track
3. Ohakune Carrot
This is the mother of all attractions in Ohakune. Yes, it is the well-known Ohakune Carrot. Also known as the “Big Carrot”, it stands next to the welcome signage of the city. Kids will like the carrot and it a photo here makes for a perfect memory of your visit, so take a snapshot of yourself with the carrot and your family.
What is the history behind the carrot? Well, it was initially used as a prop for a TV advertisement and after the commercial was shot, the carrot was donated to the town. Marking the town as the “carrot capital” because of the large amount of carrots grown here, it is a quirky point of interest and worth a stop.
Address: 4 Rangataua Rd, Ohakune 4625, New Zealand
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 24 hours
Website: Ohakune Carrot
4. Waimarino Museum
Learn more about Ohakune’s past by visiting the Waimarino Museum and visit the historic stables, railway station and jail cells, near the museum. Travel back in time and reflect on the town’s historic past by taking a closer look at the photographs and documents in the museum. In the 19th century, Ohakune was settled by the Maori people. It then became a booming town when settlers arrived, due to its logging industry. All the artefacts are over 100 years old and it is worth coming here to learn about Ohakune’s history.
Address: 101 Seddon St, Raetihi 4632, New Zealand
Opening Hours: Only open on Sunday, 1 pm-4 pm. Monday-Saturday by appointment only. Kindly refer to the website
Website: Waimarino Museum
5. TCB Ski Board & Bike
New Zealand is among the top destinations for skiers during the winter and if you plan on having a vacation in Ohakune in the coming winter season, you need to start booking your flights and accommodation now. Winter is one of the peak seasons here and the town will be full of visitors and tourists. And if you’re coming here to ski or snowboard, you don’t need to buy or bring any equipment, as you can rent it from TCB Ski Board & Bike.
You can also join any of the workshops, as TCB Ski Board & Bike has their own professional guides to assist you. So, go have some fun and don’t worry about skiing. You will get a lot of excitement and panoramic views, too. TCB Ski Board & Bike has equipment for every age group. Bring them along and have a fun family time.
TCB Ski Board & Bike
Address: 29 Ayr St, Ohakune 4625, New Zealand
Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7 am-6 pm
Website: TCB Ski Board & Bike
6. The Blind Finch
When it’s time for a break, you will wonder where the best place to eat is, in Ohakune. Head over to the Blind Finch, a top restaurant to enjoy yummy burgers. If you’re only going to try one burger while in town, it has to be the Aotearoa burger. This is a popular burger across all of New Zealand, so go give it a try.
All the burgers are grilled over Manuka wood and there are various types to choose from. You can take a look at the menu on the website. Their Famous Eggs Benedict with Bacon is another signature dish to try and it is highly recommended. Fret not if you just want to grab some drinks. There are wines, cocktails and beers to quench your thirst.
The Blind Finch
Address: 29 Goldfinch St, Ohakune 4625, New Zealand
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 am-2 am
Website: The Blind Finch
7. Johnny Nation's Chocolate Éclair Shop
The next place you should check out is Johnny Nation’s Chocolate Éclair Shop. Chocolate éclairs are popular in France but there are some great eclairs here in Ohakune, as well! Did you know that chocolate is in high demand during the ski season in Ohakune? Since it is creamy, it is best to eat it on the spot.
Johnny Nation's Chocolate Éclair Shop
Address: Ohakuni, 78 Clyde St, Ohakune 4625, New Zealand
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 6 am-6 pm
8. Ohakune Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is definitely one of the most popular celebrations in the world. It is a yearly carnival and different countries celebrate it in different ways. In Ohakune, locals start the winter season with a carnival. If you happen to be here in time for the carnival, you will see various colourful costumes, as well as funny and cheerful carnival goers dancing, partying and have great fun in front of the Station Lodge. Mingle with other tourists and locals and have fun, the Mardi Gras way.
Ohakune Mardi Gras
Venue: Thames Street, the Junction, Ohakune
Website: Ohakune Mardi Gras
9. Ohakune Old Coach Road
Take a walk along the heritage railway trail of Ohakune. While walking along the trail, you will come across a variety of wildlife and some can only be found in New Zealand. Embark on an adventure to learn more about the Old Coach Road. As you walk along the bridge, you can find out more about the railway construction, as well as the historic Old Coach Road from the information panels, which are placed all along the bridge. Cameras are a must when you embark on this trip.
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Address: Marshalls Road, Tongariro National Park 4625, New Zealand
Duration: About 2-3 hours
Website: Ohakune Old Coach Road
10. Lake Rotokura
If you want to see the natural beauty of the town or if you are interested in outdoor activities in Ohakune, then Lake Rotokura is another place to go. The scenery around the lake, including the flora and fauna of the surrounding area, will indeed attract you. Lake Rotokura is not just for tourists and picnickers, it is also a perfect spot for birdwatching and fishing.
Address: Otukou 3382, New Zealand
Website: Lake Rotokura
Not just an ordinary carrot town
The above points of interest and things to do are ideal for all age groups. You can bring your kids or family along for an amazing vacation. Ohakune is a lively town during the summer and winter seasons, so you should start booking your trip for the next holiday season. You will get a chance to join the locals and be immersed in their unique culture while experiencing their food and hospitality.
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