The Red Hut suspension bridge at the southern end of the Tongariro River Trail

Image: Russell Street | Creative Commons


Follow the banks of the Tongariro River alongside farmland and through native bush and urban areas, and enjoy magnificent river views - it's an easy, mainly flat track with multiple entry points so a great option for children.


Track overview

15 km loop

Walking and tramping

2 - 3 hours Easy: Walking track

Mountain biking

30 min - 1 hr 30 min Easy: Grade 2

Dog access

Dogs allowed. Keep dog under control at all times.

About this track


An easy, mainly flat track suitable for families and casual riders. It can be enjoyed in any direction, and started at a number of different points. This means shorter routes can be tailored to suit your particular needs.

There is only one major climb on the trail, up to the Tongariro River Lookout at the northern end of the loop – well worth the effort when you reach the top and take in the view of the river, set against the backdrop of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park.

From the high banks above the river, there are excellent views of the river’s calm pools and rippling rapids. Keep an eye out for trout or watch the fly fishing action - the Tongariro River is a world renowned fishery.

Popular option

To complete the full 15 km loop without needing to cross busy SH1, start the trail at the Tūrangi i-SITE and use the underpass under the road – you'll join the trail at Taupahi Reserve.

Heading south you'll pass the Major Jones Bridge, then on through the Waikari Reserve and past the Tongariro National Trout Centre, before reaching the southern end of the trail at Red Hut Bridge.

Cross the bridge and come back along the Tongariro River Walkway on the far side of the river, towards the Lookout track and the SH1 bridge. Here there is another underpass to take, before following the mosaic pathway back to the i-SITE.

Tongariro River Trail sign.
Follow the marker posts to complete the Tongariro River Trail. 

Shorter walks

There are many shorter options within the trail including the Waikari Reserve loop and the Taupahi Reserve track on the town side of the river, and the Lookout track and Tongariro Walkway on the far side.

The Tongariro National Trout Centre is also on route, which is a destination in itself. Take a walk along the river’s edge, learn about the fishery, or visit the whio creche and freshwater aquarium.

Getting there

The trail is on the banks of the Tongariro River, which runs past the township of Tūrangi on SH1. There are many different parking options off SH1, at the end of Koura Street or at the Tongariro National Trout Centre. 

Know before you go

This is a shared track popular with anglers, dog walkers and mountain bikers. Bikers give way to walkers.

The river is home to the endangered whio; keep dogs under control at all times, and on a leash during whio nesting season (August to October).

The track was completed as a loop with help from a local community group, to find out more visit the Advocates for the Tongariro River website.


Turangi Office
Phone:   +64 7 384 7106
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   3 Town Centre
Turangi 3334
Postal Address:   Private Bag 2
Turangi 3353
Back to top