Whakapapa Village short walks: Walking and tramping in Tongariro National Park, Whakapapa Village area

Tawhai Falls
Image: Henryk Welle | Creative Commons


These short walks are either accessible on foot from Whakapapa Village or require a short drive to the start of the track.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

15 or 20 min return Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Whakapapa Nature Walk

Time: 15 min loop track

Wheelchair accessible.

Begins 250 m above Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre.

See examples of the unique alpine flora of Tongariro National Park from the sealed loop track. A series of information panels explain the various zones of vegetation in the park. 


Mounds Walk

Time: 20 min return 

Begins 5 km below Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre on SH 48.

The walk is along a track and up a short series of steps, to the top of one of the mounds. From here there are fantastic views of the volcanoes and surrounding landscape.

The mounds are believed to have been formed by debris avalanches during Ruapehu’s periods of volcanic activity thousands of years ago. Follow this interpretive walk and learn more about the mounds.


Tawhai Falls

Time: 20 min return

Begins 4 km below Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre on SH 48.

The walk is along a track and down steps through mountain toatoa and beech forest. The beautiful falls tumble over the edge of an ancient lava flow.

Getting there

Whakapapa Village is located within Tongariro National Park, on the lower north-western slopes of Mount Ruapehu, on SH 48.

Know before you go

Take with you:

  • windproof and waterproof raincoat
  • sturdy comfortable shoes or boots
  • snacks and plenty to drink

Location map

Location map of Whakapapa Village short walks.


Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 7 892 3729
Email:   tongarirovc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Whakapapa Village
State Highway 48
Mount Ruapehu
Full office details
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