National Park Village borders the World Heritage Tongariro National Park to the east and the Whanganui National Park, to the West. National Park Village is located near the base of Mt Ruapehu, at the intersection of SH4 & SH47 on the volcanic plateau. Discovering the secrets of the volcanic wilderness and experiencing where adventure happens, National Park Village is naturally an ideal base for your summer and winter explorations.

Walks from National Park Village

Fishers Track
Time : 2 hours return

A return walk from the village along an old logging track through native bush to the hill top.

Taranaki Lookout
Time: 2 hours return

A two hour return bush walk from the Village. An easy grade walk up Fishers Track & then on to the Tupapakurua Falls Track. View of Mount Taranaki from the lookout.

Tupapakurua Falls Track
Time 4-5 hours return
A four to five hour return tramp from the Village for fit, experienced and adequately equipped trampers to a less visited area. Continue past the Taranaki Lookout through dense bush with some large trees & steep terrain to a viewing point on the edge of a small canyon. The Tupapakurua Falls is a small stream dropping 60 metres to the canyon floor. Please check with your accommodation provider before setting off.

Short Walks From Whakapapa Mt Ruapehu

Whakapapa Nature Walk
Time: 15 min loop track

Beginning 250 m above Whakapapa Visitor Centre, this sealed loop track provides wheelchair access for a glimpse of the unique flora of Tongariro National Park. A series of on-site information panels explain the various zones of vegetation in the park.

Mounds Walk
Time: 20 min one way

Begins 5 km below Whakapapa Visitor Centre on SH 48. Debris avalanches during Ruapehu’s periods of volcanic activity are believed to have formed these mounds thousands of years ago. Follow this interpretive walk and learn more about the mounds. The top of the track offers good views of the park’s volcanoes and surrounding area.

Tawhai Falls
Time: 20 min one way
Begins 4 km below Whakapapa Visitor Centre on SH 48.The falls, which tumble over the edge of an a ncient lava flow, are reached after a short stroll through mountain toatoa and beech forest.

Ridge Track
Time: 30 - 40 min return
Begins 150 metres above Whakapapa Visitor Centre. After a short climb through low beech forest, the track emerges into alpine shrublands with panoramic views of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and the surrounding landscape. Return via same track.

Taranaki Falls
Time: 2 hour loop track

Begins 100 metres below Whakapapa Visitor Centre at Ngauruhoe Place.Tumbling 20 metres over the edge of a large lava flow, which erupted from Ruapehu 15,000 years ago, Taranaki Falls plunge into a boulder-ringed pool. From below the falls there are spectacular views into the water-worn gorges of the Wairere Stream.

Whakapapanui Walk
Time: 2 hour
Begins 250 metres above Whakapapa Visitor Centre.Take care not to confuse the Whakapapanui and Whakapapaiti track signs. About 10-15 minutes along the track, the Whakapapanui walk branches to the right and heads down stream. Water-logged clearings are passed as the track follows the Whakapapanui Stream. Here, beech forest affected by die-back and storm damage is slowly regenerating. 6 km return via same track or Bruce Road.

Silica Rapids
Time: 2.5 hour

Silica Rapids, part of a pleasant sub-alpine walk close to Whakapapa Begins 250 metres above Whakapapa Visitor Centre. Through mountain beech forest, the track travels alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the creamy-white terraces of Silica Rapids. Subalpine plants, amid a mixture of swamp and tussock country, feature around the track as it returns to the Bruce Road 2.5 km above the starting point. This highly varied walk reveals a range of vegetation types and also has spectacular views of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe on a clear day. 7 km return via Bruce Road.

Tama Lakes
Time: 5 - 6 hour return

Begin 100 metres below Whakapapa Visitor Centre at Ngauruhoe Place - an extension of the Taranaki Falls track.After leaving the Taranaki Falls Walk, the track crosses undulating tussock country and alpine herbfields. Further on, the track branches to the left to Tama Lakes, while the main track continues on to Waihohonu Hut. There is an overview of the lower lake (1200 metres), and then the track climbs steeply to the upper lake (1314 metres). Tama Lakes occupy several old explosion craters on the Tama Saddle between Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. There are no formed tracks and the descent to both lakes is via steep gullies.
Tama Saddle acts as a funnel for prevailing westerly winds. Windproof clothing is recommended in this area. 17 km, return via same track.

Taurewa Track
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.

Whakapapaiti Valley Track
The Whakapapaiti Valley track begins 5 km above Whakapapa Village at Scoria Flat on Bruce Road. From Bruce Road, follow the Round the Mountain Track across to a moraine ridge for spectacular views of the Whakapapaiti Valley and surrounding country. From there, zig-zag down into the valley to turn off at the junction of the Whakapapaiti Track. Winding through stunted beech forest, the track makes its way to the Whakapapaiti Hut.

From here, the track to Whakapapa village continues down the valley, crossing the Whakapapaiti Stream 10-15 minutes below the hut.

There is no bridge at this point and it may not be possible to cross safely at times of high flow. Further down the valley, the Mangahuia Track is passed on the left. Shortly below the turn-off, the track sidles around bush-clad ridges before joining the lower Silica Rapids Track 45 minutes from Whakapapa village.

Lake Rotopounamu
Rotopounamu (‘greenstone lake’) nestles on the side of Mt Pihanga. This beautiful lake is a special favorite of tree lovers, birdwatchers, walkers and swimmers.

Beginning opposite the carpark the track winds gently uphill. At the junction the track to the left goes to Ten Minute Beach which is a pleasant picnic and swimming spot in summer. The walk into the lake takes about 20 minutes.

To walk around the lake turn right at the junction and follow a short section of metalled track before dropping down towards Five Minute Beach.

Here a broad treestump provides a good spot to view the lake. Rotopounamu was formed by a landslide about 10,000 years ago. It is nine metres deep and covers one square kilometre.

Long Beach sweeps along the eastern side of the lake and is an ideal spot for a picnic or rest stop. There is a toilet here. From here the track continues to the northern shore where three of Rotopounamu’s four tributary streams enter the lake. The lake has no visible outflow and possibly drains via an underground stream or seepage.

Continuing on, you will pass Ten Minute Beach and soon return to the track junction. From here it is downhill to the carpark. Allow two hours for a leisurely walk around the lake.

Ohinetonga Track
This is a 2-3 hour loop walk and is situated between Owhango and the Whakapapa River.

All Day Treks

Tongariro Alpine Crossing: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described as one of the best one-day hikes in New Zealand. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek takes you from alpine meadows to mountain summit with stunning volcanic features along the way. You will walk across a lunar landscape of craters, scattered pumice, active volcanoes, mountain springs, lava flows, emerald lakes, piles of scoria and statue-like mounds of volcanic desert. It will take about 8-9 hours to allow time for photos and any side tracks, the summit of Mt Tongariro is 1967 m and Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom, for all the Lord of the Rings fans) at 2287m above sea level.  

Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake: New Zealand’s most accessible live volcano is Mt Ruapehu and you can climb this mountain this summer. You can ride the chairlifts up the mountain and enjoy unsurpassed views over the central North Island  

Over Night Treks

Northern Circuit: is a two nights, three-day trek around Mt Ngauruhoe, including much of the Tongariro Crossing, starting at Mangatepopo & finishing at Whakapapa Village.  

Round the Mountain is the 4-6 day tramp around Mount Ruapehu. For those seeking solitude magnificent mountain views and a backcountry experience this is the trek for you.


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