Lovers of nature and fantasy stories won’t be disappointed by a visit to New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park. There is a mountain on its northern side that by its original name Mt. Ngauruhoe won´t tell you much but when we say, “The Mount Doom”, everyone remembers the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Tongariro National Park lies on the North Island. It was founded in 1887 and it is the oldest New Zealand park and the fourth oldest national park in the world. The entire area is protected by UNESCO. And right here on the North Island of New Zealand, Mordor was born. In fact, it is much safer than in the movie though. You can hike an active volcano, you will see beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and you can cure rheumatism in some mineral springs.

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The Tongariro National Park is full of volcanic activities

Park Tongariro attracts not only fans of Lord of the Rings. It offers to the tourists a bit of adrenaline in the form of active volcanoes, by the way, no higher in New Zealand can be found. Take a stroll along the waterfalls or lakes or take a look at the only New Zealand desert.

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Tongariro Park offers plenty of trekking and activities

The biggest attraction of the park is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

During a one-day 20-kilometre trek, you will reach the above-mentioned Mount Doom, called Mt. Ngauruhoe (2287m). You can, just like Frodo, climb up and look at the crater. Opposite to it, there is another big volcano. Just understand that to climb the two peaks, you will have to leave the main route and take a few hours delay – but the view is to die for. The journey continues along the famous Blue Lake, which fills an extinct volcanic crater and is known for its turquoise blue colour.

There are three ponds that together makeup Emerald Lake and they will amaze you with its bright green colour caused by minerals from nearby thermal springs. If you still haven´t had enough of lakes, you can still catch up on the Red Crater from which you can see the largest New Zealand Lake Taupo. Prepare for the fact that you will have to share a journey with many tourists, yet – who wouldn’t want to come to the land of Mordor for a moment?

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Mount Ngauruhoe Mountain – over 2,000 meters high

The second famous tour of the Tongariro National Park is a five-day hike around the highest mountain of the island – the Ruapehu volcano (2797m). A walk without crowds of tourists offers hills with forests, lakes and famous Tawhai Falls waterfalls. Don´t miss a chance to walk through the only New Zealand desert – Rangipo Desert. But don´t expect sand dunes, Rangipo will surprise you with its diversity and beautiful scenery. On the way, you can stay in cottages built for that purpose. They are equipped with beds, cookers and fireplaces. A night costs about 10 NZD and is paid with special tokens that you have to buy in advance (Link where to buy the tokens). You shouldn´t forget to get them ahead, otherwise, you will spend the nights under the New Zealand sky.

When it comes to trekking, besides Tongariro National Park, New Zealand also offers other beautiful places. Check out a list of 10 most beautiful places in New Zealand.

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View of Tongariro National Park – Alpine Crossing

Other routes in Tongariro National Park

Tongariro Northern Circuit: It takes you around 4 days, and you walk around of 43 kilometres.

Round the Mountain Track: Approximately 6 days walking around volcanoes and small lakes, you’ll have 66 kilometres in your feet.

If you want something less strenuous:

Lake Rotopanam – Two-hour stroll through the woods around the beautiful lake.

Mounds Walk – Just a twenty-minute walk along the trail running around the Tongariro National Park Information Centre.

Taranaki Falls – A renowned journey through beautiful countryside to the breath-taking Taranaki waterfalls. Within two hours you make a six-kilometre round.

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Tongariro National Park is full of active volcanoes

eva_profilApart from trekking, the ski resorts are also located on the North Island. One is at the village of Whakapapa, which lies on the site of a former iceberg at an altitude of 1602 meters. The perfect place for the skiers has also mentioned Ruapehu volcano. There is a lot to do all year round, so if you don´t want to ski and your feet hurts from hiking, you can try kayak or paddleboard, borrow bikes or go fishing.

How to Get to Tongariro Park

Whakapapa village is the main centre of everything important. There is a regular bus coming from the nearby towns of Taupo and Turangi. You can also rent a car and go to the mountains through Okahune Road, or to the Desert Road desert. The nearest domestic airport is in Taupo and from there you can fly to Auckland International Airport or Wellington. If you need to know what to do before traveling to New Zealand, check out the list of information you should know before going to New Zealand.

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In the park you can see lava that once flowed out of the rock

Have you visited Tongariro national park? What other places in Zealand you liked and recommended you to visit ? Let us know in comments.