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Tongariro National Park

Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia New Zealand North Island Tongariro National Park

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Introduction

Tongariro Lakes

Tongariro Lakes

© All Rights Reserved PaulO79

Home to the highest mountain on New Zealand's North Island, the 9,000 feet volcano Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park is one of the highlights of any visit to New Zealand. Centered on the highest village in the country, Whakapapa, the region is a paradise to lovers of the outdoors all year round. Tongariro is the name of one of the 3 massive volcanoes the dominate the area, the others being Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe which made an appearance in "The Lord of the Rings" as Mt Doom. I can assure you that the region is far pleasanter than Mordor though!

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Main Centres

  • Whakapapa
  • Ohakune
  • National Park Village
  • Waiouru
  • Turangi

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Sights and Activities

  • Hiking - or tramping as it's called here - is a major activity in the park and the best known outing is the Tongariro Crossing, a tough walk across the mountains from Mangatepopo Hut to Lake Rotoaira. For New Zealand's highest tramping route there is the ascent to the Ruapehu Crater for spectacular views of the crater lake and most of North Island. These are primarily summer outings though with a guide they can be tackled at any time as long as you're not averse to snow! There are many easier and shorter walks in the region though, the tourist information office in Whakapapa provide excellent maps and guides.
  • Winter and spring bring the skiers and the Ruapehu Ski Area is the largest in New Zealand. Accessed by the Bruce Road from Whakapapa, the lifts will take you from the "Top of the Bruce" to over 6,600 feet where there are a choice of runs of all standards.
  • For the less energetic, Mountain Air who are based between Whakapapa and National Park Village, offer spectacular flights over the 3 volcanoes - not to be missed!

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Sleep

With its Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite and hotels including the rather imposing looking Grand Chateau Hotel, Whakapapa is a good place to base oneself. Being able to watch the sunset over Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe is good enough reason anyway. Other centres are National Park Village, Ohakune and Waiouru reached along the so
called Desert Road to the south. Turangi by the shores of Lake Taupo is a larger town with more shops and accommodation options but is also further from the centre of the park.
Some budget accommodation includes:

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
YHA National Park Backpackers & Climbing WallFinlay Street, P.O.Box 89HOSTEL86
National Park Hotel and Hostel61 Carroll street PO Box 60 National Park VillageHostel-
The Crossing BackpackersEruaHOSTEL-
The ParkCnr Millar Street and State Highway 4 National ParkHOSTEL86
Howards Lodge11-13 Caroll StreetHotel-
Ski HausCarroll St PO Box 79 National ParkHOSTEL86
Plateau Lodge17 carroll street, National Park villageHOSTEL87
Howards Mountain Lodge43 - 45 Carroll Street National Park VillageHOSTEL-

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This is version 14. Last edited at 1:55 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 8 articles link to this page.

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