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Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park was established in 1887 as New Zealand's first national park. Its UNESCO dual World Heritage Area status recognises Tongariro National Park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features. 

At the heart of Tongariro National Park are the three andesitic volcanoes TongariroNgauruhoe and Ruapehu

Volcanic activity started here about two million years ago. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are two of the most active composite volcanoes in the world, however the most recent eruptions were of Tongariro in August and November 2012. 


Conservation is a huge part of Tongariro National Park. In conjunction with the Department of Conservation (DOC), a small group of passionate volunteers devote their time to implementing projects aimed at a wider understanding of the flora, fauna, geology, conservation and the history of the park.

Cultural Significance

For tangata whenua (people of the land), the mountains are a vital part of their history. Their whakapapa (genealogy) and legends are respected accordingly.