The most famous walks in the park are the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the best day hikes in New Zealand, if not the world; and the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the nine Great Walks, of which the Crossing is a part.
There are a wide range of walks to see many beautiful natural features. From an easy 20 minutes to 2 hours to see waterfalls and views of the volcanoes, to a more challenging whole day or several days with overnight stays, for a deeper experience of the park's spectacular landscapes. There is a network of eight serviced backcountry huts with campsites.
There are two wheelchair accessible tracks: the Rimu Track nature walk at Ohakune and the Whakapapa nature walk at Whakapapa Village.
Walks in and around Tongariro National Park brochure (PDF, 2,494K)
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing track crosses spectacular active volcanic terrain, and takes around 6 - 8 hours to complete.
Winding its way around the active volcanoes Tongariro and Ngauruhoe is the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of New Zealand's Great Walks.
The climb up to Mount Ruapehu Crater is not a marked route. People wishing to make the climb to the crater should be experienced trampers and well equipped.
It will take you 4 to 6 days to complete the Round the Mountain Track around the active volcano Mount Ruapehu, in Tongariro National Park.
The near perfect volcanic cone of Mt Ngauruhoe entices many visitors to its summit. This parasitic cone of Mt Tongariro is one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes.
Slightly more demanding than short walks these walking tracks are either accessible from Whakapapa Village on foot or require a short drive to the start of the track.
Winding through stunted beech forest, the Whakapapaiti Valley Track makes its way to the Whakapapaiti Hut. From here you can continue in a loop back to Whakapapa Village.
These short walks are either accessible on foot from Whakapapa Village or require a short drive to the start of the track.
Rotopounamu/Greenstone Lake nestles on the side of Mt Pihanga. This beautiful lake is a special favourite of tree lovers, birdwatchers, walkers and swimmers.
Ohakune Old Coach Road is a unique walk and cycleway. Take a trip back into New Zealand's rail heritage while you walk or cycle across gentle coach trails and formed tracks.
Lake Surprise and Old Blyth tramping tracks are 5 hour return hikes you can enjoy in the Ohakune area.
Mangawhero Falls, Lake Rotokura, the wheelchair-accessible Mangawhero Forest Walk and the Rimu Walk are some short walks you can enjoy around the Ohakune area.
Mount Ruapehu is the spectacular location of New Zealand's two largest ski fields, Whakapapa and Turoa. Visit the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts website.
Each ski field is approximately 550 ha in size, and include a wide range of terrain types suitable for beginner to advance skiers and snowboarders. There is also a smaller ski field on the eastern side of the mountain called Tukino. Visit the Tukino website.
There are a range of fantastic mountaineering and climbing opportunities in the park in all seasons. Winter climbing to the mountain summits is suitable for experienced hikers and climbers only. There are also many rock-climbing opportunities in the summer season.
Ohakune Old Coach Road is a grade 2 trail suitable for all the family. It is part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.
Other mountain biking tracks are in the nearby Kaimanawa Forest Park and Tongariro Forest Conservation Area.
There is some excellent hunting opportunities in and around the park, primarily for red deer but also including sika deer and pigs. See Hunting in the Turangi/Taupo area.
Visit the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre to learn about the natural and cultural values of the park.
Join in one of the recreational events held annually in and around Tongariro National Park, including the Mahi Aroha Summer Programme. Choose from adventure running and walking, mountain biking and more!
Find businesses that are DOC-approved to provide guided activities and tours in Tongariro National Park.
Weather for Tongariro National Park
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:1. Plan your trip2. Tell someone3. Be aware of the weather4. Know your limits5. Take sufficient supplies