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Hiking the spectacular Tongariro National Park

Internationally renowned for its collection of Great Walks, New Zealand offers a range of outstanding hikes through spectacular alpine and coastal scenery. Whether you're hiking through Fiordland along the Milford Track, past the brilliant sandy beaches of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, or trekking up through the incredible landscape Mount Cook National Park, you will always be surrounded by the incredible beauty of New Zealand. If you're looking for some of the most visually spectacular hiking in the country, head up to Tongariro National Park - home to Mt Doom, Mordor and an otherwordly mountainous region that completely embodies the magical world of the Lord of the Rings.

If you're heading to Tongariro for a few days of exploration, be sure to check out these stunning hikes:

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Time: 5-8 hours
Distance: 19.4 km

Able to be walked in either direction, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing has been described as one of New Zealand's best one day walks and is a must-do if you are in the area. Covering a range of dramatic landscapes, explore the volcanic terrain and marvel at the vibrant waters of the Emerald Lakes. Weather can change quickly in this region so ensure you are well prepared - if in doubt, join a guided walking tour and make some new friends along the way!

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Time: 3-4 days
Distance: 43.1 km loop

From day trips to full 3-4 day walks, the popular Northern Circuit track requires booking during the Great Walks season (December to March). The trek winds through the volcanic terrain, around Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe with the opportunity to spend multiple nights in this spectacular landscape.

Round the Mountain

Time: 4-6 days
Distance 66.2 km loop

This stunning alpine hike takes you on a 4-6 day trek around Mount Ruapehu. Perfect for walkers with backcountry experience who are wanting to get away from the day walker crowds, this is an excellent alternative to the increasingly popular Northern Circuit walk.

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro National Park

Mount Ruapehu Crater Climb

Time: 7 hour return
Distance: 10 km

Not for the faint-hearted, the Mount Ruapehu Crater Climb is for fit and experience hikers who are prepared for the challenges of the walk. Climb up the volcanic rock to the expansive crater lookout point at 2672 metres above sea level. If you are unsure of your ability, a guided hike is the best way to experience this walk.

For those after a shorter stroll with a little less intensity, these walks will provide you with amazing scenery, with a bit less of the huffing and puffing:

Taranaki Falls

Time: 2 hour return
Distance: 6 km loop

Begin your walk near the Whakapapa Visitor Centre and head along the loop track to reach the beautiful Taranaki Falls, thundering into the pool below.

Taranaki Falls, Tongariro National Park

Soda Springs Walking Track

Time: 2 hours
Distance: 6 km return

Part of the Tongariro Crossing Walk, begin at Mangatepopo car park and follow the Mangatepopo Stream for 6 kilometres as it winds up through the Mangetepopo Valley. Take the short side track to Soda Springs and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the walk to the springs.

Ridge Track

Time 30-40 min
Distance: 1.2 km return

Beginning near the Whakapapa Visitor Centre, walk through beech forest up onto the ridge with panoramic views out to Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe.

Tawhai Falls

Time: 20 min return
Distance: 1.5 km

Begin your walk near 4 kilometres from the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre, follow the track down some steps, through beech forest and out to the beautiful Tawhai Falls.