Tongariro National Park Travel Guide

  • Hiking in Tongariro
    Hiking in Tongariro
    by kiwigal_1
  • Emerald Lakes, Tongariro
    Emerald Lakes, Tongariro
    by kiwigal_1
  • The Emerald Lakes
    The Emerald Lakes
    by allikat

Tongariro National Park Highlights

  • Pro
    allikat profile photo

    allikat says…

     The incredible experience of hiking across an active volcanic range! 

  • Con
    allikat profile photo

    allikat says…

     Is the physical effort a con? I think not. Maybe the numbers of walkers on busy weekends... 

  • In a nutshell
    kiwigal_1 profile photo

    kiwigal_1 says…

     Beautiful wilderness area. 

Tongariro National Park Things to Do

  • Mt. Ruapehu Chairlift

    The lift goes all the way to 2020 meter's height, from there you can start a wonderful but tough hike (4+ hours) to the crater.Otherwise enjoy a nice coffee at the sleek sky coffee

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  • See the Plains of Gorgoroth

    If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, then you will enjoy the drive from Lake Taupo to the heart of Tongariro National Park. Leaving from Turangi towards Whakapapa Village, take Highway 1 south to Highway 46 west!For those of you that are a little more adventurous, you can also take a hike through the middle of these plains on a short or long hike....

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  • Visit Mordor, I mean Whakapapa Village!

    During our trip to the North Island, Sarah and I decided to take a day and visit all of the backdrops for the movie Lord of the Rings. Starting in the morning out at Hobbiton, we crossed the Plains of Gororoth and into Mordor!Mordor is actually Tongariro National Park, and specifically the region near Whakapapa Village. We enjoyed our time here,...

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  • Visit Mount Doom... or the Model of it!

    Since it was cloudy, the best picture I could get of Mount Doom, better known as Mt. Ngauruhoe to the locals, or anyone not addicted to Lord of the Rings.Sarah and I ventured past the normal picture making locations for Mount Ngauruhoe and onto the Whakapapa Village and headed into the Visitors Center, where they actually had a model of the entire...

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  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing 1-day mountain...

    This one day mountain trek is very accessible to most able bodied people. A very popular walk, it's well worth the effort if the weather is somewhat "nice". I'm holding the flag tight because it was so windy I nearly lost it!Depending on your fitness, and the weather, oh and the density of trampers on the day, the walk can take anything from 6 - 10...

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  • Lago - Taupo- Lake

    En la carretera que va desde Rotorua hacia Tongariro se pasa al lado del Lago Taupo y los paisajes por los que se va pasando son impresionantes On the road from Rotorua to Tongariro we passed to the side of Lake Taupo and the landscapes were awesome

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  • Paisajes Landscapes

    Los paisajes con sus cascadas eran dignos de verse The landscape with its waterfalls were worth seeing

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  • Tongariro

    Decidimos hacer un recorrido de un día sólamente y elegimos hacer una ruta que nos recomendaron en el Visitors Centre , saliendo desde allí que duraba unas tres o cuatro horas Fue un paseo muy agradable , pues no era muy duro aunque en algún momento tenía pendientes no muy fuertesCuando nos lo permitían las nubes , teníamos unas grandes vistas de...

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  • Tongariro Northern Circuit, day3 and...

    Day 3. Ketetahi Hut to Waihohonu Hut,6-7 hours, 16.5 km.I was glad that the weather was fantastic, so i got to see all the picturesque scenery that i missed on day 2, coz day 3, i hadanother chance to walk back to see the emerald lake and the blue lake that i missed on day 2, the routeon day 3 needed to retrack back . But still the view from Ketahi...

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Tongariro National Park Hotels

Tongariro National Park Restaurants

  • MFAMILY's Profile Photo

    by MFAMILY Updated Apr 18, 2008

    Cosy interior with lovely decoration and good tasty food, within the historic NP Railway Station.
    A short drive from Discovery Lodge and Whakapapa.

    Favorite Dish: Fish, pastas, salads, all tasty, done at the moment.
    Nice people.

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Tongariro National Park Nightlife

  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo
    Ketetahi Hot Springs at Sunset 4 more images

    by kiwigal_1 Written May 3, 2006

    On the Tongariro Crossing there isn't really any nightlife per se but our little group of 6 had great fun sitting on the benches outside the hut in the 3 degree air "watching our TV" which was the landscape around us. The sunset was spectacular as you can see from the pics attached. We were making all sorts of weird and wonderful stories up about the landscape around us. The human mind / imagination is a wonderful thing when technology is completely removed!!

    Dress Code: Dress warm outside!!!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Tongariro National Park Transportation

  • allikat's Profile Photo
    Buses at the end of the Crossing.

    by allikat Updated Apr 10, 2008

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    Remember, the Tongariro Crossing is a one way hike (as opposed to a round trip, or going up then coming down a mountain). This means that it is a REALLY good idea to have some form of transport to drop you off at the start of the walk and perhaps more importantly pick you up at the other end.

    There are lots of tour operators running buses from as far as Taupo, and many of the more local accommodation places do likewise.

    The Discovery Lodge, where we stayed offers the earliest drop off time ~ 6am ~ and begins collecting its walkers from 2pm. Their last pick up is at 4pm but they make it very clear that for that bus they WILL NOT LEAVE until the last Discovery Lodge guest is accounted for, and that as a consequence you may need to be patient. They weren't wrong there ~ the last walker joined the bus at 5.30pm but I think everyone was too tired and pleased with their own efforts to mind.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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Tongariro National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Mount Doom on a cloudy day...

    If you are thinking about travelling down to see Mt. Doom in Tongariro National Park during the winter, or when it looks cloudy, I would definitely choose an alternate activity. The day we went, we were really unable to get a good view of the mountain, which was the main reason we chose to drive a couple hours south out of Rotorua. We made the best...

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  • Follow the Orange Markers

    The Tongariro Crossing is known as New Zealand's Great Walk because it is the most popular one day hike in the country. It is generally a very safe walk, however every year there are people who are unprepared who get into trouble on the mountain. Trampers are encouraged to go in a group and to carry the right equipment. You should take a map of the...

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  • First Aid

    I can't stress this point enough... it is really important to make sure you bring a first aid kit with you if you are attempting to do any hiking/tramping in Tongariro. We used our kit a couple of times... once for Tanya who unfortunately got a couple of nasty blisters on her feet and once for me for a nagging headache I had that wouldn't go away....

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Tongariro National Park Tourist Traps

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    1000 people per day midsummer.

    by kiwi Updated Jun 23, 2007

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    This region gives the impression that you can escape and be alone. However it is very popular and you often find there are many other people with the same idea, hence "you are NOT alone"! During the summer months for example, the Tongariro Crossing has 1000 people walking it per day. That is phenomenal and for me it was a big surprise. This was a perfect weather day and also a Saturday making it busier than normal. Weekdays during peak summer, would be less busy.

    Unique Suggestions: Get going early to beat the rush!

    Fun Alternatives: The Tongariro Crossing is the walk most people like to do, however Tongariro National Park has many walks, so pick up a Doc pamphlet (NZD$2) from one of the Visitor Information Centres around the country, and see if another walk would interest you. Naturally the Crossing is popular because it is spectacular. However if you want to get away from people, midsummer, you won't here.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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Tongariro National Park What to Pack

  • Tramping Equipment

    You will need a comfortable backpack for the tramp. Probably about 30 Litres maximum for any overnight trips and a daypack should be fine if you plan to do the one day hike. It might be good to consider getting the drinking bladder's installed in your backpack so that you don't have to stop and get your drink bottle out. In New Zealand the weather...

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  • Take lots of warm and waterproof...

    A comfortable back pack is always essential. If you are going for the day only, a day pack in which to carry clothing, water and food is all you might need. If you are doing this walk as part of the whole round the mountain walk, obviously a larger/bigger volume pack will be more suitable. Make sure you have well worn and sturdy footwear/boots. Do...

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  • Tongariro National Park Hotels

    2 Hotels in Tongariro National Park

    489 Reviews and Opinions

Tongariro National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Tongariro Crossing : Cental North...

    The Tongariro Crossing runs between Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro, There are threee mountains basically in a row, Mt. Ruapheu is the first, then Ngauruhoe finally Tongariro. Ruapheu is the mountain with all the facilities for skiing etc.The crossing can be done from either end , but it appears that leaving from Mangatepopo is the way prob. 90%...

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  • Winter crossing is WOW

    Challenging the Tongariro Crossing after a dump of snow is a great way to experience hiking in extreme conditions.I went with a guided group. We were supplied with crampons after we had negotiated the 'Devil's Staircase'. This was the most difficult time for the less fit of us. The guides led and 'made' a path around the side of the Mt. At some...

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  • Know where you are going....

    Make sure you have information and maps from the Department of Conservation before you go.Whilst the track is well travelled, it pays to know what you are up against and don't forget to get fit before you go...

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Tongariro National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo
    Ketetahi Side of the Crossing 4 more images

    by kiwigal_1 Updated May 3, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Tongariro Crossing is THE main activity that tourists will do in the region (besides in winter). The Crossing is a hike from Mangatepopo to Katetahi. The hike takes around 8 hours to complete and crosses over Mt Tongariro, past Mt Ngauruhoe and offers views of the lakes on the other side (Lake Taupo for example).
    It is a really amazing hike and quite challenging however I think anyone can do it!

    See the travelogue and the rest of this page for more pictures!

    Equipment: Please check out the Department of Conservation website for advise on equipment for the crossing.

    The weather can be changeable at certain times of the year so make sure you are prepared for anything. Take plenty of energy foods and water.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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Tongariro National Park Favorites

  • And finally....

    From the Ketetahi hut you still have approximately two hours to go before you reach the end of the Crossing and the pick up point. For a while you are on a track which zig zags down the mountainside through tall grasses, then the last part of the track takes you through an area of native bush. If you are lucky enough to be doing the Crossing on a...

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  • How convenient....

    One thing I definitely hadn't expected to find on the Tongariro Crossing was public toilet facilities! But I guess with so many people now doing the crossing it is important the environment is properly protected. There are basic and environmentally friendly toilet facilities at two points along the walk. The first one is just before the first...

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  • Take time to smell the flowers....

    A lot of the walk takes you across alpine areas filled with tiny alpine plants. With so much grandeur and dramatic landscape to see it would be easy to miss out on some of the tiny blossoms close to your feet. Take time to have a look at them. We were there during the early part of March (late summer) and we saw many tiny white blossoms, some...

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Comments (2)

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I gotta get over here!

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      May 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Someone was heli-rescued yestereday not one week after it opening fully. It's a big one! But worth doing on a nice day. Busy in summer though, too busy at times!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    May 2013 - After months of volcanic activity, the entire alpine track has reopened now. Be sure to wear strong ankle protecting hiking boots, as the track still has some places where it can be rough.

 
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