Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand. Tongariro National Park was the fourth national park established in the world.The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park. In 1993 Tongariro became the first property to be inscribed on the World Heritage List under the revised criteria describing cultural landscapes.
Located in the central North Island.
About Tongariro National Park
1. There are a number of Maori religious sites within the park,and many of the park’s summits, including Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, are tapu, or sacred. The park includes many towns around its boundary including Ohakune, Waiouru, Horopito, Pokaka, Erua, National Park Village, Whakapapa skifield and Turangi.
2. National Park Village borders the dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park to the east and the Whanganui National Park to the West, in the middle of a true wilderness wonderland. The village is located near the base of Mt Ruapehu, at the intersection of SH4 & SH47 on the volcanic plateau, half way between Auckland and Wellington. It boasts great views of all three mountains, Mt. Tongariro, Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings filming locations) and Mt. Ruapehu – a unique dual world heritage area, 300,000 years in the making.
3. Tongariro National Park has everything from extreme and adventure sports, through to beautiful scenery, gentle walks in the nature of a dual World Heritage Site and some of New Zealand’s most interesting history.
4. Turoa Ski Area is situated on the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, offering a massive 722m of vertical descent from the top of Australasia’s highest chairlift – the Highnoon Express. Alpine Meadow, situated at the base of Turoa Ski Area, is an ideal beginner’s area. It has a large 120m long carpet lift that smoothly and easily takes you up the slope. Alpine Meadow is conveniently located next to the Alpine Café and Bar where you will find coffee, meals, snacks or even a well-deserved cold beverage after your day on the slopes. For the littlies in the family, there’s a tobogganing area right alongside Alpine Meadow.
5. There is an abundance of kayaking options in the region, with easy grade 1 floats, right up to grade 4 waterfalls for the more experienced thrill seekers.
6. There are 56 significant species of birds, such as rare endemic species like the North Island brown kiwi, kaka, blue duck, North Island fernbird. The park also features the only two native mammals of New Zealand, the short and long tailed bat.
Best Time to Visit
For Ski lovers, Snow season is from late June to early November. For hiking, months after November will be better.