Explore New Zealand’s phenomenal volcanic landscape and trek across one of the best known hiking trails in the country.
Enjoy outdoor adventures and superlative scenery when you explore Tongariro National Park. Go hiking, mountain biking, skiing and whitewater rafting in a wilderness that encompasses waterfalls, lakes, rivers and three active volcanoes.
The three volcanoes in Tongariro National Park were gifted to the country in 1887 by Te Heuheu, Chief of the Ngati Tuwharetoa Maori tribe. New Zealand’s oldest national park is also a dual World Heritage area for its importance to Maori culture and the magnificent volcanic features.
There are many hiking and mountain bike trails throughout the park, from gentle outings to more challenging routes. Take one of the volcanic walks on Mount Ruapehu, which was used as a filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Trek through the countryside and stay overnight in a serviced backcountry hut or in a village lodge. A popular route is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This 1-day hike encompasses barren mountains with volcanic craters, lava flows and emerald-green lakes.
Take part in some activities on the water. Kayak along the Whakapapa River through Tongariro Forest. There is also a 3-day canoe trip along the waterway. Go whitewater rafting in the Whanganui River. When the snow comes in the winter, head for the slopes of the Whakapapa Ski Area on Mount Ruapehu. Here you can ski, snowboard and go tobogganing.
Away from the outstanding scenery, Tongariro National Park also has some cultural sites that are well worth exploring. Stop by the 1923 glacier hut, which today houses a skiing museum. See Kaikawaka Villa, a bushman's hut from the 1930s and visit the Tongariro Chateau, a Georgian mansion.
Tongariro National Park is in the central part of North Island, about a 4- to 5-hour drive from Auckland or Wellington. It is also accessible by railway from both these places. Trains stop at the National Park Village which borders the expansive wilderness. It is open throughout the year and there is no entry fee.
Reviewed on Nov. 28, 2019
Reviewed on Nov. 12, 2019
This active volcano’s mighty peak marks middle of the North Island. Ski down its snow-covered slopes in winter or hike its trails in summer for unforgettable vistas.
Stay in a cozy cabin on the slopes of an active volcano and enjoy year-round outdoor pursuits on the mountainous terrain.
Easily the most spectacular gondola experience in NZ, Sky Waka transports you 1800m over the scenic landscapes of Whakapapa with breathtaking views of our dual world heritage Tongariro National Park.
This 19km trek is New Zealand’s best day one-day walk. The track leads up to the saddle between Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro. The landscape on Tongariro is peppered with different coloured and shaped craters that have been active at different periods, scoured volcanic rocks, mountain springs and brightly coloured emerald lakes.
Soda Springs: A short walk up the Mangateopopo valley the path of the mighty Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. Hike the unique volcanic trail with breathtaking views of Mt Ngauruhoe & Mt Tongariro stepping over its ancient lava fields Soak up the dramatic lunar landscape with this easy hike.