Plan & prepare
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The 79598-hectare Tongariro National Park is located in the central North Island. The nearest towns are National Park Village, Ohakune and Turangi. The small village of Whakapapa is located within the park.
There are many ways to get here:
- Road: Highways surround the park and lead to key access points and to the skifields.
- Train: The main trunk railway passes through the townships of National Park and Ohakune.
- Flights: Daily flights are available to and from Taupo Airport. Also, sightseeing and regular flights operate from Taupo, Turangi and Mt Ruapehu airstrips.
Roads surrounding Tongariro National ParkBus: Regular bus services are available to and from Ohakune, National Park, Whakapapa Village and Turangi.
- Shuttle buses: A variety of shuttle bus services are available to Whakapapa Village and hiking track trailheads from the nearby towns.
Road distances and driving times:
- Auckland to Whakapapa: 340 km, 4.5 - 5 hr
- Wellington to Whakapapa: 330 km, 4.5 - 5 hr
- Rotorua to Whakapapa: 180 km, 2 - 2.5 hr
- Taupo to Whakapapa: 100 km, 1.25 hr
- Turangi to Whakapapa: 50 km, 40 min
- Whakapapa to Ohakune: 50 km, 40 min
Before you go
Tell someone your plans
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.
Weather conditions in Tongariro National
Park can change from glorious to
miserable in a few hours, so always
be well prepared
Check current conditions
What you need to bring
- Being properly equipped and well prepared is essential in this changeable alpine environment
- If you are going hiking, you should have a waterproof raincoat and overtrousers, warm gloves and hat, several layers of warm (wool or fleece) clothing, sturdy hiking footwear, water and sufficient high energy food (with some extra for emergencies)
- Take suncream and sunglasses in all seasons
- Take a first aid kit, portable stove, fuel, cooking utensils and a map and compass (along with someone who knows how to use them)
- In winter specialised mountaineering experience and equipment is required.
Volcanic hazard information
- With three active volcanoes in the park, it is important to be aware of potential volcanic hazards.
- Mount Tongariro and Mount Ruapehu were active as recently as 2012. Mount Tongariro erupted twice in 2012. Mount Ruapehu last erupted in 2007, and during the 2013 summer it had a short period of increased activity. Mount Ngauruhoe last erupted in 1975.
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