The big overnight treks in the area are The Round the Mountain, Tongariro Northern Circuit and The Whanganui Journey in the Whanganui National Park. The Tongariro Northern Circuit and the Whanganui Journey are part of the New Zealand Great Walks.
Round the mountain
Round the Mountain is the 4 – 6 day tramp around Mount Ruapehu. For those seeking solitude magnificent mountain views and a backcountry experience; the round the mountain track is ideal. It can be seen to be a more remote alternative to the popular “Tongariro Northern Circuit”. The track can be tramped at any time of year, but the safest and most popular time is from November to May. The round the mountain track traverses a myriad of landscapes, ranging from mountain beech forest, tussock-country and alpine herb fields; to desert lands and glacial river valleys.
Tongariro Northern Circuit
Winding its way over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe is the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. This trek passes through unique and stunning landforms, which include volcanic craters and glacial valleys. A range of trips can be planned around the Tongariro Northern Circuit. Day trips, overnight trips or a three to four day tramp around the complete circuit. You need to book the hut passes. See Tongariro Crossing for a full day or walks for 1/2 days
The Whanganui River winds its way from the mountains to the Tasman Sea through countless hills and valleys. Lowland forest surrounds the river in its middle and lower reaches, forming the heart of the Whanganui National Park. The 145KM journey from Taumarunui to Pipiki takes an average 5 days to complete by canoe. A shorter 3-day journey from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible. see Whangnaui River Although a river journey, the Whanganui is part of New ZealandÌs “Great Walks” network.
Mangapurua walkway (The bridge to nowhere)
This is a 40km track between Whakahoro and Mangapurua Lading on the banks of the Whanganui River and usually takes three days to do the walk. There are no huts. However, there are an abundance of ideal campsites on open grassy flats and small side streams to provide ample water. Arrangements with a river jet can be made for the return trip to Whakahoro or to transfer to the Matamateaonga Walkway.
The land surrounding the river is only about one million years old. Formed of soft sandstone and mudstone (papa) from the ocean-bed, it has been eroded by water to form sharp ridges, deep gores, sheer papa cliffs and waterfalls.
Over this land has grown broadleft-podocarp forest of rata, rewarewa, rimu, tawa, kamahi and kowhai with beech dominant on the ridge tops. Tree ferns and plants that cling to the steep riverbanks are very distinctive.
Bird species such as kereru (native pigeon), tree ferntiwaiwaka (fantail), tui, toutouwai (robin), riroriro (grey warbler) and miromiro (tomtit) are often seen and heard. The call of the brown kiwi can often be heard at night.
These are overnight hikes staying in Huts or camping.