Hiking the Tongariro National Park

Discover the outdoor paradise within the Tongariro National Park Central Plateau, where an abundance of hiking opportunities awaits. The renowned Alpine Crossing unveils an epic journey across volcanic landscapes between Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. Past The Red Crater, the highest point of the hike and down to the famous Emerald Lakes. Both ancient and active craters paint an unforgettable path as hikers pave their way over the mountains and down the other side through damp and peaceful native bush often punctuated with old and hardened lava flows. Four season in one day is often expereinced regardless of the time of the year. On days, when the peaks are shrouded in cloud, the Tama Lakes trail offers an equally enchanting alternative, leading through glacial-carved valleys. Or alternatively, immerse yourself in the park’s history and nature as you explore the Taranaki Falls and Tawhai Falls, Gollum’s Pool, where native flora and birdcalls fill the air. Lake Rotopounamu, an easy essential trek, reflects the surrounding bush-clad beauty of the area. Echoes of Maori heritage resound at Lake Rotoaira, where the first haka resonated, and Pukawa, birthplace of the Maori king movement. Amidst these natural wonders, remains of the Land Wars, like Te Porere Redoubt stand as poignant reminders of history’s imprint on the land. In every step Tongariro National Park weaves a narrative of geological marvels and cultural significance that beckons to be explored.

A check List with so much to do

  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing ~ allow a full day to cover this in a relaxed manner and stay at least two nights in the area. It is not a walk in the park but rather challenging as you cover various levels of terrain and meet some phobias along the way. Always travel with a buddy and if you're alone, befriend a buddy as you go.
  • Tama Lakes ~ a good choice if you do not wish to make the climb of up and over.
  • Taranaki Falls ~ an excellent challenge for those only wanting to walk for 2-3 hours. If you have bad knees, take the lower route first
  • Tawhai Falls ~ a quick visit to these falls is great, especially of the weather is not favourable but you want to do some hiking while in the area. It is also Gollum's Pool for those Lord of the Rings addicts.
  • Lake Rotopounamu is an exquisite visit for a quick visit to check out some New Zealand flora and fauna. The bush is lush and the birdsong will leave you awe-inspired.
  • Lake Rotoaira is also of historial significance as it was here where the first haka was performed and what a story that is too.Te Porere Redoubt will take you along a road of discovery where you'll learn a little about the Land Wars of the C18th.
  • Pukawa Marae ~ unfortunately this is only a 'drive by' experience but the trip down to the shores of Pukawa is worth the visit. This is where the New Zealand Maori King movement was first mooted even though the actual Maori King Marae lies at Ngaruawahia.
  • Te Porere Redoubt ~ a European Redoubt and the place of the last of the major Land Wars. The famous Te Kooti was defeated here in 1869 and although lives were lost he managed to escape.
  • Tongariro River Trail ~ Up to 15 kms, taking 1-2/12 hours. The National Trout Centre is en route and great diversion along the way. There are two swing bridges to cross with some options to shorten or lengthen the journey