- "Big Carrot" redirects here. Big Carrot was also a pseudonym used by the band T. Rex.
|Territorial authority||Ruapehu District|
|• MP||Ian McKelvie (New Zealand National Party)|
|• Mayor||Sue Morris|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
Ohakune is a town in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located at the southern end of the Tongariro National Park, close to the southwestern slopes of the active volcano Mount Ruapehu. Part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region, the town is 70 kilometres northeast of Wanganui, and 25 kilometres west of Waiouru.
Ruapehu College is the main secondary school.
The town is home to the Ruapehu Rugby Club.
As a winter resort town, one can find facilities for accommodation, snow sports, mountain tramping and bushwalking. In recent years the number of events hosted by Ohakune has increased, with both the Big Mountain Short Film Festival and Ohakune Mountain Mardi Gras featuring on the calendar. The Mardi Gras is both a ski party and celebration of winter, and includes musicians, stalls and rides.
Ohakune is also part of the Fallout Festival, an annual event that focuses on bringing creative elements into the community to celebrate the snow season. Ohakune is the home of radio station Zero FM (94.2fm Ohakune)
On the eastern edge of the town there is a large replica of a carrot. This is reputedly the world's largest model carrot, and was originally constructed as a prop for a television advertisement for the ANZ Bank in the early 1980s. After filming the carrot was donated to Ohakune, in recognition of the area's reputation as the source of a high proportion of New Zealand's carrots, and installed in its current position in 1984.
State Highway 49 runs through the town, as does the North Island Main Trunk Railway. From 18 December 1917 until 1 January 1968, Ohakune was also the junction for the Raetihi Branch, a branch line railway to Raetihi. A truss bridge formerly used by this branch still stands near the big carrot. Seventeen kilometres to the east of the town is the Tangiwai bridge, site of New Zealand's worst railway accident, the Tangiwai disaster, on 24 December 1953
A mock-romantic song from the mid-1960s called September in Ohakune was recorded by Peter Harcourt on an LP called Land of the Long White Shroud
The world's first commercial bungy jumping site was established just outside Ohakune at the old railway viaduct. This was operated during the 1980s until the bridge became too unsafe to continue operations. This bridge is now restored and a highlight of the 'Old Coach Road' walk/bikeway.