Waiouru is best known in New Zealand for where the NZ Army is based; i.e. Waiouru is an army town. Waiouro is also a busy stop point for travelers heading north or to the mountains and national parks. Waiouru is a very busy place.
State Highway one passes through Waiouro and just to the north is what is known as the Desert Road. During winter this part of the highway is often closed with snowfalls.
Mount Ruapehu is the highest mountain on the North Island and is host to two ski fields and numerous National Park walking tracks. This whole area is a delight for tourists, especially young backpackers.
Waiouru is on the North Island Main Trunk Railway, which came through in 1907. Waiouru Railway Station is the highest station (814 m) on the New Zealand railways.
Waiouru is a must visit. Allow up to two hours to enjoy the museum.