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Exploring National Park in early winter. © Sue Lewis

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Things to do

Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro: live the high life this winter

The drive around Ruapehu and his little brothers, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, is spectacular in winter, but those who content themselves solely with the view from the window are missing out. Read the story . . . 

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Chateau Tongariro: your favourite winter great spot

Tip your hat to architect Herbert Hall of Timaru who harnessed the iconic, neo-Georgian style and grandeur of European mountain and Canadian lakeside chateaus and delivered the goods in full to the foot of Ruapehu. Read the story . . . 

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Great Spot Specials for Ruapehu region
Whether you want to see it all from the road or chill at the Chateau, we've got you sorted.
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Need some wheels?
The driving in this great spot is world class, with epic views around every corner . . .
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Tongariro National Park: volcanoes of the south wind

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park with excellent skiing on Mount Ruapehu in the winter season and some of the most epic mountain-hiking trails in the world. Read the story . . . 

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Tongariro Alpine Crossing: one of the best one-day walks in the world

Walk through this World Heritage Area of steep climbs, volcanic giants, capricious weather, sheer beauty, alpine lakes and make memories you will treasure forever. Read the story . . . 

Justine Tyerman explores the ski fields and startling white wilderness of Laka Alta. Read the story . . . 

The high altitude Lake Alta cirque. © Ngai Tahu Tourism

Art and culture — winter is coming . . .

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Things to do

New Zealand on film: more than hobbits and snowy mountainscapes

Film critic Sarah Watt explores how movies put New Zealand on the map — and how it can be something of a blessing and a curse that, nowadays, most people immediately think of The Lord of the Rings when it comes to local cinema. Read the story . . . 

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A book at hand: reading your way around New Zealand

Do you ever hanker to read but wonder what book to dig into when you hit the road? Award-winner Nicola Legat, industry champion, publisher and chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, explores New Zealand through the books that are most beloved in our ever-blossoming literary landscape. Read the story . . . 

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Wellington Waterfront: where writers' words are cast

 John McCrystal pounds the pavement and takes in the Wellington Writers Walk on the waterfront, the envy not only of most other New Zealand cities, but also around the world. And so are its writers, including Katherine Mansfield, Robin Hyde, Bruce Mason, Maurice Gee and Patricia Grace. Read the story . . . 

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Working at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: stories, smiles and sharing moments

Host Norrie Gibson loves his job at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa — every day is full of surprises, along with rich and rewarding experiences.  Read the story . . . 

Out and about — perfect winter walks in Aotearoa

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New Plymouth’s Coastal Walkway: welcome to Taradise

New Plymouth has grown into a funky little city with the view from just about everywhere dominated by Taranaki’s paternal presence. Read the story . . . 

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Te Matua Ngahere Walk

Take a 20-minute walk through the beautiful native bush in Waipoua Forest to view the world’s second largest living kauri Te Matua Ngahere. Read the story . . . 

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Te Ara a Waiau Walkway/Cycleway

Walk or cycle through bush from Franz Josef township to the Franz Josef Glacier car park.  Read the story . . . 

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Te Henga Walkway: a wild and wonderful west coast walk

Walk the rugged cliff top from Bethells Beach/Te Henga to Murawai and drink in the most epic views of Auckland's wild west coast. Read the story . . . 

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