Discover what you'll see on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.
Spectacular volcanic landscapes
The Tongariro Northern Circuit winds its way around the active volcanoes Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, showcasing the spectacular volcanic terrain of the central North Island.
The walk passes through unique and stunning landscapes, including active volcanic craters, brilliant blue lakes, and glacial valleys.
Sweeping views around the North Island
The central and high altitude location of the Tongariro Northern Circuit is in a prime position for sweeping views around the central North Island.
In addition to panoramas of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside, you can see beautiful Lake Taupo to the north, the rugged Kaimanawa ranges to the east, and even as far as Mount Taranaki on the west coast!
Ngauruhoe from Oturere valley
A land of strong contrasts
Side by side you can see chaotic, barren lava flows, winter snowfields, thermal steaming and active craters. From alpine herb fields to forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau, this walk is a place of extremes and surprises.
Interesting plants and birds
The plants in the area vary considerably, from alpine herbs to thick swathes of tussocks and flax; from the hardy, low-growing shrubs of the Rangipo gravel-field to dense beech forests. A diverse range of beautiful and unique alpine flowers abound in the spring and summer months.
This is the perfect habitat for a variety of New Zealand’s native birds. In forested areas you may see bellbird/korimako, tui, robin/toutouwai, tomtit/miromiro, fantail/piwakawaka, and maybe New Zealand's smallest bird the rifleman/titipounamu.
Gentiana bellidifolia (Gentian)
You might be lucky enough to spot blue duck/whio in a stream, and in open terrain areas you may see pipits, skylarks, the rarer karearea/falcon or kaka, and even some wayward seagulls who live in the area in summer!
A range of walking options
A range of trips can be planned around the circuit, suitable for the whole family. You can do day trips, overnight trips or a three-four day walk around the complete circuit.
The Tongariro National Park is easy to get to from around the North Island. The Tongariro Northern Circuit is easily accessible from four trailheads, with Whakapapa Village being the main entrance and exit point.