Crater Lake information
Lonely Planet review
The unmarked rugged route up to Ruapehu’s Crater Lake (seven hours return) is a good one, allowing you to see the acidic lake up close, but this walk is strictly off limits when there’s volcanic activity. This moderate-to-difficult walk begins at Iwikau Village at the top of the Bruce Rd. You can cut three hours off it by catching the chairlift from Whakapapa Ski Area. Guided walks to Crater Lake run from mid-December to mid-April, weather dependent. Like most of the walks in Tongariro, you’ll need to check conditions before heading out and don’t attempt it in winter unless you’re a mountaineer.