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  • Writer's pictureStation Lodge

A Local Treasure!

Lake Surprise - Tongariro National Park

This is one of the main reasons we chose to live and work in the Ruapehu region, we have such an abundance of outdoor opportunities on our doorstep, from 10 minutes to multi-day adventures.

This is one of our favourite walks, one we have walked with our children, exploring the rock pools, it's our go-to walk with friends visiting from overseas and my husband has run this trail countless times and competed in the annual 21km Goat Adventure run 8 times, which takes in the section of trail from Lake Surprise to the Ohakune Mountain Road.


Getting there

15 Minute drive from Station Lodge.

The track starts 18 km up the Ohakune Mountain Road from Ohakune.


9 km return via same track / 4.5 - 5hours return

Lake Surprise is a spectacular mountain walk which I feel is on a par with the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but without the crowds, I saw three people in 4.5 hrs. This is a walk which has been ground out of the land by massive glacial and volcanic activity, offering crystal clear streams, stunning waterfalls and cascading rock slides with streaks of milky white deposit of silica left behind from earlier eruptions. Enjoy this visually stunning and rewarding walk on your next trip to the area, it won't disappoint.


Stunning cascading waterfalls with white Silica deposit left behind from earlier eruptions, winding its way down into Mangaturuturu Valley.


Throughout most of walk, the trail offers speculator views of Mt Ruapehu. This mini waterfall spot, made for a great swimming hole. Brrrrr very refreshing, especial with all the recent snow melt.


Mangaturuturu Hut (1 hour 30 minutes from the road).

Lake Surprise, a broad, shallow lake set amongst beech forest and tussock, is reached after a steady climb from the river valley.

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