This New Zealand national park is well-known for three volcanoes - Ruahepu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe – that tower above the rocky, scrub-covered alpine landscape. A top ski destination in winter and a hiker’s delight in summer, Tongariro is a wilderness getaway with walks to amazing blue lakes and activities like skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and mountain biking. Mt Ngauruhoe was the location for Mt Doom in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies, and if this place captured Peter Jackson’s imagination, you know it’s special! Book your Tongariro National Park hotel with us and you’ll have something to do in snow or sunshine.
Tongariro is the oldest national park in New Zealand and the fourth oldest in the world. Horonuku, paramount chief of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa people, gifted the peaks of the three mountains to the people of NZ in 1887. The Crown purchased more of the land around them, and Tongariro officially became a national park in 1894. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are two of the most active volcanoes in the world, and Ruahepu erupted in both 1995 and 1996.
Things to do
Whakapapa Village is the gateway to the road that leads to the Whakapapa ski field of Mt Ruapehu. A quaint village where charming cafes can be found among thick trees, it takes you to Bruce Road, where sweeping views meet you as you ascend to the Whakapapa Ski Area’s surreal rocky landscape. Whakapapa and Turoa are Tongariro’s two biggest ski areas, and Turoa has ‘The Highnoon Express’, the longest vertical descent in both Australia and NZ. There are ski slopes to suit all levels at Tongariro, and skiing classes for absolute beginners.
The other two mountains have a range of activities too: Tongariro has the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is perfect for a one-day adventure no matter what the season. Take the 18km trail over volcanic rocks, layers of lava flows, craters and mountain springs. You’ll come across Blue Lake, a brightly coloured sacred lake in a huge volcanic crater. Ngaurohoe, as well as being Mt Doom, also beckons adventurers with a three-hour climb to its summit.
If you don’t feel like a huge hike, there are heaps of other walking tracks at Tongariro ranging from a short as 10 minutes to as long as six hours. You can also take on Tongariro’s tracks on a mountain bike, bask in lush green scenery as you canoe down the Whanganui River, or tackle the indoor climbing wall at National Park Village. When you need a rest, unwind in the warmth and comfort of a local restaurant or bar.
Whether you’re seeing the country or just paying a visit to Tongariro, there are buses, trains and shuttles around to get you there from Auckland
and just about anywhere else on NZ’s North Island
. Book your Tongariro accommodation with us to take your next holiday to new heights – and ski from the top of them.