You can do a lot of walking in this National Park, I'll describe the most popular ones. If you want more info, ask at the Visitors Centre. The Tongariro Northern Circuit will take you 4 days to complete. You'll go thru some volcanic craters and lakes and some volcanic formations. There are some interesting side tracks to. The Tongariro Crossing can be done in one day and has some amazing views. The Crater lake walk takes you to the Crater Lake of Mount Ruapehu. It takes about 7 hours return, but if you do it between December and April you can take the chair lift and cut off three hours.
When coming from Taupo/Turangi and travelling southwards to Tongariro NP, you will have the choice of driving along Desert Road, east of Tongariro. It has beautiful scenery and Mt. Ngaruhoe, Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ruapehu can be seen all the way and are wunderful sights.
During winter, however, this is NZ's most likely road to be closed down for traffic as heavy winds blow ice and snow from the mountains onto the street. There will be electronic signs saying wether Desert Road is open or not.
If you are looking for a great place to ski on the North Island, then you could look no further than to Whakapapa Village in the middle of Tongariro National Park. It is the home to Mt. Ruapehu Ski Field.
Although neither Sarah nor I ski, we did go up and see that there was plenty of parking, plus transport from the chateaus and hotels located at the base of the mountain.
Everyone here looked like they were having a good time, but then again I do not know much about skiing!
Mt Ruapehu is the home to Whakapapa and Turoa skifields (see the website link below for more information on skiing or snowboarding) which are the skiifields servicing the North Island population. Another great website to take a look at is www.ruapehunz.com which has loads of information on activities on and around the mountain year-round.
Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano which last erupted in 1995 disrupting the ski season. Other seismic activity, but less dramatic, occured also in 1997.
To get to the Emerald Lakes you will need to take the Tongariro Crossing hiking route. The Emerald Lakes lie at the foot of Red Crater, a geothermically active area.
The best time to see the lakes is during the main walking season from December to March. It takes just over 3 hours to walk from Mangatepopo Hut to the Emerald Lakes. The lakes make a really nice setting for a lunch break.
Is a very popular and noticable landmark on the north island. It is the moutain which Peter Jackson used to portray "mt Doom" in his movie, "The Lord of the Rings".
Its best observed through the hiking in the region and most definately while partaking in the "Tongariro crossing".
The moutian is also easily summited (which good footwear and fitness level) in summer months
Is the tallest moutain on the North Island and is also home to a popular ski resort, opperating on both sides of the mountain.
The moutain has popular summit tours in the summer as well as moutianeering opportunities in the winter.
The the summit you can witness the crater lake as well as impecable views of the nearby Mt Ngaurahoe. On a clear day one can also see Mt Taranaki in the distance some 300 km away.
The moutain is also an active volcano and has erupted in recent years.
During the summer months you can climb to the crater rim of Mt Ruapehu. Of course you can do this in the winter as well, however you need mountaineering experience.
But summer time it’s an ideal opportunity to get up on an active volcano, and see some amazing views. The crater lake is an unusual milky grey colour and is expected to collapse and empty some time over the next year or two. During the 1995 eruption the crater was “plugged” and the water has been building up gradually.
To see more photos on this climb, visit my Mt Ruapehu page.
Again, during summer, you can drive up most of the way, to Iwikau Village at the top of the Bruce Road, where you can leave your car. Then take the chairlift to Knoll Ridge, and it’s a walk from there. The route is NOT marked so it is essential you collect a map and make plans before you set out. From Iwikau, it’s about a 6 hr return trip using the chairlift, or add another 2 hrs if you walk all the way without using the lift.
Volcano enthusiasts love this mountain for it’s easy accessibility and during the 95 eruptions they actually had to put guards around to stop people who wanted to ski on an active volcano while it was erupting! Well the volcano is still active however eruptions are not expected. There are devices in place now to predict any irregular activity that may indicate another eruption.
Ngauruhoe measures 2,291m (7515ft) tall and is still classified as an active volcano with over 61 eruptions since 1839. It is a beautifully shaped "classic" volcano. The cone is thought to be 2500 years old but is still being added to.
It is possible to climb Mt Ngauruhoe from the South Crater on the Tongariro Crossing. I had planned to do this but didn't in the end as I had overestimated my fitness!! The cone takes about 2 hours to acend and 30 minutes to come down. It is a scoria scree slope which means you take 2 steps up and 1 down.
Los paisajes con sus cascadas eran dignos de verse
The landscape with its waterfalls were worth seeing