Tongariro National Park is located in the central North Island. It is easily accessed by road, and is only a 4-5 hour drive from either Auckland or Wellington.
The nearest towns are Taumarunui, National Park Village, Ohakune and Tūrangi. The small village of Whakapapa is located within the park.
State highways surround the park and lead to key access points.
Whakapapa Village is the main gateway into the park, and to Whakapapa ski field. It is on the western side of the park, on State Highway 48.
The pretty town of Ohakune is the southern entrance to the park, and to Turoa ski field.
Daily national bus services are available to and from Ohakune, Taumarunui, National Park, Whakapapa Village and Tūrangi.
A variety of shuttle bus services are available to Whakapapa Village and hiking tracks from the nearby towns. Shuttle buses meet the national buses and trains at National Park Village and Ohakune.
Road distances and driving times:
- Auckland to Whakapapa: 340 km, 4 hr 30 min - 5 hr
- Wellington to Whakapapa: 330 km, 4 hr 30 min - 5 hr
- Rotorua to Whakapapa: 180 km, 2 hr - 2 hr 30 min
- Taumarunui to Tongariro National Park: 63.6 km, 51 min
- Taupo to Whakapapa: 100 km, 1 hr 15 min
- Tūrangi to Whakapapa: 50 km, 40 min
- Whakapapa to Ohakune: 50 km, 40 min.
The main trunk railway between Auckland and Wellington passes through National Park Village and Ohakune. The train runs three days per week going south and three days per week going north.
The closest airport is in Taupo and daily flights are available.
There are also sightseeing flights available from Taupo, Tūrangi and Mt Ruapehu airstrips.