Ngauruhoe Place Whakapapa Village, , Mount Ruapehu
As often happens in locations where there are a lot of people, I found the food to be poorly presented. My nachos were clearly preprepared, and not properly microwaved, as the centre was neither warm nor melted (the cheese)! But when one is cold and hungry, having food and being ahead of others, is enough to be happy.
The food selection is not bad, but fairly standard. Isolated location must be considered here.
With not a lot of establishments to chose from, it's not very competative. However I do understand that for many months this place is not busy. Height of the ski season, makes for not so good service.
Fergusson's Café also runs as a Post Office, and has a Petanque course, as well as a facility machine where you can download your camera memory card full of photos, to a CD. Great for the traveller!
Favorite Dish: I had vegetarian nachos, quite a nice concept. Just poorly heated. Enjoyable all the same.
The Nachos were only NZD$6-50, however the coffee was NZD$3-50 .
On the Western side of Mt Ruapehu, you can drive quite a long way up the mountain from Whakapapa. It's a good road, but of course depends on weather for safety conditions. If there is a lot of snow, you will need chains on your wheels and won't be allowed up without.
There is limited parking up the mountain, and various carparks along the way. If the traffic guys point you into a park you MUST go as they count the cars, and know there is nowhere for you further up. I was amazed at how many people argued and wanted to drive up. If you find yourself in a small carpark half way up, don't worry, because the bus will soon arrive to take you on up to the top of the road. And the buses run regularly so you can return to your car easily through the day.
On days when either the carparks are all full, or if the road conditions are icey and dangerous, there is a point where they stop all cars and only let those with chains or 4WDs thru, or turn all vehicles away. This is just beyond the Chateau, on Hwy 48 at Whakapapa Village.
There are carparks here too, and buses run to shuttle you up the mountain.
WEATHER CAN CHANGE QUICKLY!
As with mountains the world over, Mt Ruapehu deserves respect and planning.
The weather can change very quickly and the temperature can drop rapidly in a short time.
Make sure you are prepared with protective clothing. Oh and take a tube if Vegemite if you happen to read this before you go. Great source of Vitamin B for sustenance.
As you can see in one of the photos, on a clear day everything looks fine. But within minutes the situation can change, so Be Prepared!
Favorite thing: Mt Ruapehu us a volcanic mountain situated in the central plateau region of the North Island of New Zealand. It's measured height is 2797 metres, and it is home to several skifields. Ruapehu last erupted in a lot of glory, in 1995 and 1995, so it is still very much an ACTIVE VOLCANO! This is an opportunity for those who are keen, to ski on an active volcano. Of course during volcanic activity the mountain is closed. And when the mountain is open for skiing, rest assured that the 'rumblings' of her are being very closely monitored.