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The central plateau of the North Island was formed by huge volcanic upheavals over hundreds of thousands of years forming one of natures finest adventure playgrounds. From the Sacred Mountains of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and, Tongariro to the East, to the vast unspoiled wilderness of the Whanganui River to the West. The National Park region is a spectacular year-round destination, this area offers almost every outdoor activity imaginable. From adrenaline pumping, thrill-seeking pursuits to quiet secluded spots to do nothing – you’ll find it here.

Tongariro Walking Tracks – Tongariro National Park

We have some wonderful walks in the Tongariro Park Area from 20 minutes to 8 hours of the famous Tongariro Crossing.

Ohinetonga Track


This is a 2-3 hour loop walk and is situated between Owhango and the Whakapapa River you can spend a lovely afternoon here the track winds through the forest, with excellent examples of native trees, to the Ohinetonga Lagoon you can picnic, swim. or just enjoy the surroundings.

Okupata Caves

A natural and unmarked network of underground passages in Tongariro Forest. Guided tours can be arranged to enter the caves. Heavy rainfall may result in rising water levels in the caves, which may cause them to flood. You should only enter the caves with people who know them well.

Lake Rotopounamu (Greenstone Lake)


This is a picturesque lake on the side of Mt Pihanga known as the greenstone lake. It will take you 20 minutes to walk one way to the lake or 2 hours around 5km loop track.

Tama Lakes

This trek is an extension of the Taranaki Falls track: You will track across undulating tussock country and alpine herb fields. Further on you will branch to the left to Tama Lakes , there is an overview of the lower lake and then the track climbs steeply to the upper lake at 1314 metres above sea level. Tama lakes occupy several old craters on the Tama Saddle between Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. Windproof clothing is recommend for this area as the Tama Saddle acts as a funnel for prevailing westerly winds. This trek should take you between 5-6 hours and is a 17Km return trek.

Taranaki Falls


This is a great morning or afternoon walk, or a warm up for the next full days trek. Taranaki falls tumble over the 20 metres edge of a large lava flow, which erupted from Ruapehu 15,000 years ago, then plunges into a boulder-ringed pool. From below the falls there are fabulous views into the water-worn gorges of the Wairere Stream. This is a loop track of 6 km and will take about 2 hours.

Tawhai Falls

Is 20 minutes return via the same track. The falls tumble over the edge of an ancient lava flow. It is a short stroll through mountain toatoa and beech forest.

Taurewa Track

This is an afternoon of or morning walk and follows the old milling trails through the bush. The track starts on the edge of the Tongariro Forest and is home to a wide variety of bird life it is a 2-3 hour loop track. You will need to turn left at John McDonald Road.

Silica Rapids


This highly varied track reveals to you a range of vegetation types and on a clear day you will have amazing views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. The track will take you through mountain beech forest, traveling alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the creamy-white terraces of Silica Rapids. Featured around the track are sub alpine plants amid mixture of swamp and tussock country. It will return you to the Bruce Road and take about 2.5 hours for the 7 km trek returning to your starting point via the Bruce Road .

Whakapapaiti Valley

This trek begins on the Bruce Road at Scoria Flat you cross the ridge to be greeted with stunning views of the Whakapapaiti Valley and surrounding countryside. Then you zigzag down into the valley to the Whakapapaiti Hut through stunted beech forest. You will pass on your left the Mangahuia Track then join the lower Silica Rapids

Tongariro National Park – Tongariro Hiking and Trekking

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

Whanganui Journey


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.

Mountain Biking around National Park Village Ruapehu

Explore the inspiring and challenging landscape in and around National Park Village on bike. We know you’ll be exhilarated by the varied landscapes and typography discovered on the many trails.


Two of the seven trails which are part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project are found in the region; Central North Island Rail Trail (The Timber Trail) and Mountains to Sea Trails.

Fishers Track

(Part of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail)

  • Length 2-3 Hours
  • Distance 28Km
  • Difficulty Grade 2

Start from National Park Village at the end of Carroll Street over the railway crossing. Be ready for a steady climb to the summit followed by 17kms downhill along a grassy farm track. The last stretch is along a gravel road (beware of traffic) with gradual climb up to the finish point at the Monument. We can arrange a pick up for a rider and bike.


(Marton Sash & Door)

  • Length 2 Hours
  • Distance 16 Km
  • Difficulty Grade 2

Starting at National Park Village this loop trail takes in a recovered bush tramway route, some back country dirt roads and a pine plantation. Elevation range is 120m between 720-840m
42 Traverse

  • Length 4-7 Hours
  • Distance 46kms
  • Difficulty Grade 3-4

Starting at Kapoors Road, on State Highway 47, the trail has an overall descent of 570 metres. This is considered to be one of the premium bike tracks in the North Island, located in the Tongariro Forest Park. You follow the old logging road as you navigate challenging downhill’s and muscle testing uphill paths. We can arrange a pick up for a rider and bike.

Old Coach Road

(Part of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail)

  • Length 3-4 Hours
  • Distance 15 Kms
  • Grade 2

Starting at Horopito on State Highway 4, the old coach road was initially a carriage-way for travellers before the train track was completed through the heart of the North Island. This cobbled route became obsolete with the completion of the railway. Steeped in history, there are great views and sights, including the Hapuawhenua Viaduct. We can arrange a pick up and drop off for rider and bike.

The Bridge to Nowhere/Mangapurua Valley


(Part of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail)

  • Length 5-7 Hours + Jet boat transfer
  • Distance 35Km
  • Difficulty Grade 3

Starting just past the Ruatiti Domain, follow the Raetihi-Ohura Road (north of Raetihi, off State Highway 4). You will need to book a jet boat pick up from the Mangapurua Landing and journey down the Whanganui River to Pipiriki. There is no cell phone reception on this trail.

The Bridge to Nowhere/Kaiwhakauka Track

(Part of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail)

  • Length 5-7 Hours + Jet boat transfer
  • Distance 40km
  • Difficulty Grade 4

The Track starts at the end of Oio Road, Whakahoro, and west of State High 4 National Park. A jet boat pick up from Mangapurua Landing must be booked in advance.

Hire bikes and transport can be arranged.

Climbing to the Mountain Summits in Tongariro National Park

You can climb the summits of all three mountains in two days, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe and on the second day climb to the summit of Mt Ruapehu. We can arrange a guide to accompany you on your quest to three summits in two days.

Mt Tongariro – Summit 1967m


You can do climb to the Mt Tongariro summit as part of the Northern Circuit or the Tongariro Alpine Crossing it will take you 1-2 hours return form near the top of Red Crater.

Follow a poled route to the summit of Tongariro. The route is along an undulating rocky ridge, gaining less than 100 m in altitude you will get some fantastic views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe.

Mt Ngauruhoe – summit 2287m

Mt_NgauruhoeYou can climb to the summit of Mt Ngauruhoe a poled route leads from Mangatepopo road end (this can also be done part of the Tongariro Crossing).

At the saddle between Ngauruhoe and Tongariro the route is not marked but climb up the old lava flow. (Be aware of the falling rocks dislodged by other climbers) Avoid entering the inner crater area, where volcanic fumaroles may emit overpowering gases.

Descend via the red scoria, then on the loose scree to either side of the ridg

The climb should not be undertaken in winter without mountaineering experience and equipment or an experienced guide. Icy slopes can make this climb extremely hazardous.

Mt Ngauruhoe was digitally transformed to create the fiery Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings Films. see Lord of the Rings locations Ruapehu.

In Maori legend, the high priest, Ngatoroirangi was caught in a blizzard while climbing Mount Ngauruhoe. He prayed to his sisters in Hawaiki to send him fire to save him from freezing. The flames they sent south emerged first at White Island, then Rotorua and Taupo before finally bursting at Ngatoroirangi’s feet. Thus Ngatoroirangi is credited with bringing volcanic activity to Aotearoa New Zealand not as a curse upon the land, but as a blessing.

For a guided sunrise or sunset adventure contact us.

Mt Ruapehu – summit 2672m


This is a 5 hour 7km climb via the same route, you take the whakapapa ski chairlift and you start this climb from at the knoll ridge. If you do not take the chairlift it is a 7 hour 10km climb.

The Crater Lake is below the summit of Ruapehu and the lake disappeared during the eruptions of Mt Ruapehu in 1995/96 and after an eruption in 2007.

The alpine environment is renowned for extremely changeable weather. This climb is not recommended in winter without mountaineering experience and equipment.

This is not a marked route and it is recommended you go with a guided group to the crater lake.

Check for Avalanche Forecasts

Check for the Tongariro National park weather

Whanganui River – Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui River winds its way from the Mountains to the Tasman Sea and is part of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ network.

Today this remote river provides a wilderness haven for unique outdoor adventure. Very few places in the world can you take a canoe on a river for several days totally cut off from the pressures of civilisation. People of all fitness levels and ages can experience the Whanganui Journey.

Early Maori cultivated the sheltered terraces and built elaborate eel weirs along river channels where eels and lamprey were known to converge. Every bend of the river had kaitiaki (guardian), which controlled the mauri (life force) of that place. The mana (prestige) of a settlement depended upon the way in which food supplies and living areas were looked after for the benefit of the tribe and visitors. Te Atihaunui a Paparangi people settled the valley from 1100AD.

Tieke Marae

Tieke MaraeTieke Marae was one of many old pa on the Whanganui River. Today Tieke has been revived as a marae. Everyone is welcome on the marae, but they must observe protocol.

Visitors to the marae will participate in a Powhiri (Welcome). They will be met at the riverbank where the Powhiri will be explained. You will be called onto the marae and shown where to sit. The Tieke people will speak first, usually followed by a song. One of the visitors will be expected to reply in any language, which may be followed by a song. It is traditional for visitors to lay a gift (koha) on the ground after speaking. It may be food, money or anything else.

The marae asks that visitors do not smoke inside the sleeping house, or drink alcohol at Tieke.

Adventure Lodge is the natural destination from which to start and finish your 1,2,3, or 5 days Whanganui River Experience. You can leave your car and personal belonging here while you are on the river and it is a great place to come back to have a hot shower, great meal and a good nights sleep after your adventure. You are picked up and dropped off from Adventure Lodge. Both Kayaks and open Canadian canoes can be used on the river, through most people find Canadians more convenient to carry bulky camping gear.

Freedom hire

freedomhireWhat you need to bring

  • Food for the Trip (we recommend that you stay as near as possible to your normal diet)
  • Tent (there are huts if you want to share)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Personal clothing,
  • Cooking equipment (gas rings are in the hut if you want to share)
  • Rainwear
  • Toilet gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Footwear
  • Extra warm clothes

Storage is provided for clothing and food in waterproof barrels, lifejackets, paddles, ropes, info maps, camera containers and bailers

Guided Tours

Guided tours are available please contact us for further information.

White Water Kayak on the Whakapapa

Tongariro Rivers Rafting

Rings Filming Location


Whakapapa Ski Area Mt Ruapehu
20 minutes from Adventure Lodge & Motel

Scenic Flights over the Tongariro National park