Taranaki Falls, Tongariro National Park
Tupapakurua Falls, Tongariro National Park
Lake Rotopaunamu, Tongariro National Park

Summer In The Tongariro National Park

During summer the Tongariro National Park offers spectacular views of all three volcanoes and their deep red volcanic rock.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy this beautiful Dual-Heritage national park. New Zealand’s best one-day hike - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the wonderful Tongariro Northern Circuit walk — one of just three like it in the world. Our famous mountain bike trails are suitable for all ages.

Tongariro Northern Circuit

A 2-4 day tramp in the Tongariro National Park.

A ‘Great Walk’ of New Zealand, the Northern Circuit passes through the foothills of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe and can be walked in either direction. The track is an intermediate level of fitness track & well marked. Best months to hike are October to April. Great walks season October to May.

The Tongariro Northern Circuit is an area of true magic with unique landforms of volcanic craters and ancient valleys. It is a 43km km trip and can be planned around a two-to-four-day hike, encountering summit peaks and glacier springs. The track can be accessed from National Park Village. National Park Village is a one stop shop for the wildness experience.  Plateau Lodge is located just a short distance from the start of the track and is in the centre of the township. Most popular starting points are Whakapapa Village and Mangatepopo Road end. To access the starting points of the track can be by shuttle or own car.

Booking your huts/campsites and researching track conditions in advance is highly recommended. Due to the sometimes volatile volcanic landscapes, it is important to check current websites. Visit DoC or print the Tongariro Northern Circuit brochure or the Tongariro Northern Circuit Track Guide.

What to do next?

  1. Start off at Greatwalks NZ for more information
  2. Book your huts and campsites online with DoC visitor centre
  3. Book your transport to and from the track
  4. Buy your food and pack your bags (download the Great walks packing list and make sure you have everything you need)
  5. Read up on safety and make sure you’re well prepared for your journey and changeable weather (make sure you have left your intentions with a trusted contact at Adventure Smart)
  6. Print your ticket and official track guide and lace up your boots.

Tongariro Northern Circuit Return Transport

8am, 12pm & 2pm departure, returning at 12:30pm, 2:30pm & 4:30pm
$20 one way


Mountain Biking & Quad Biking

The Ruapehu District has fabulous Mountain Biking terrain and trails, in fact some of the best to be had in New Zealand!

Uenuku Pines Mountain Bike Trails

The Uenuku Pines is for Beginner to Advanced riders. It is 3 km south of National Park on SH4. When you see the old semi demolished ‘Waikune Prison’ buildings on your left then “The Pines’ is on your right. Travel along the tarsealed road, once you cross the railway tracks and head along till you reach the old mill site. The tracks are marked through the Pines area.

Ohakune Old Coach Road

For a half day cycling adventure which includes natural and historic experiences look no further than the Ohakune Old Coach Road.  It is perfect for beginners and family groups. The canopy of the Forest offers protection for most weather conditions including wind and rain. The track starts at Horopito and is a 15km ride to Ohakune. Most of the track is downhill which suits people of average fitness.

Martin Sash & Door

The Marton Sash and Door Grade 2 16km trail starts and finishes at National Park and is great for the whole family. You travel alongside the Main Trunk Railway in and out of a Pine Forest, next to a wooden dam and the remains of an old bush tramway.

42 Traverse

This 42km Grade 3-4 trail is one of New Zealand’s most adventurous rides. The scenery here is spectacular the track gravelly and rutted and includes stream crossings. Don’t be too distracted by the beautiful vistas because in Summer there can be 4WD vehicles on the track. The startpoint is at Kapoors Road off SH47 and finishes in Owhango.

Timber Trail

The Timber Trail is a grade 2-3 44km trail and is mainly centred around the Pureora Forest between the PiroPiro Flats and Ongarue. It is Family Friendly and one the trails main features is a 141metre long suspension bridge and is one of many bridges on the trail.

Mountains To Sea Trail With Jet Boat

The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail is the most diverse in NZ. With numerous sections beginning in Ruapehu, the final stage brings you down the Whanganui River Road, past historic landmarks both Māori
and European. Carry on into the historic city of Whanganui, past public art on the riverbank and out where the river meets the Tasman Sea.

Note – Mangapurua (Bridge to Nowhere) Track is rated as a grade 3 and is a reasonable mountain bike experience and fitness level is required.