At 814 above sea level, Waiouru is home to one of the New Zealand National Army's training facilities, and the base of the National Army Museum. Several exhibitions feature in its galleries including NZ's involvement in the Vietnam War, Malaya, the Pacific and the World Wars. There is also an extensive medal collections including exhibits from recipients of the Victoria Cross and the New Zealand Cross. Marking a fork in the main highway to Ohakune and National Park in the West, or Lake Taupo in the North, Waiouru acts as the gateway to the Desert Road. Boasting spectacular views of the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro, this scenic section of State Highway 1 cuts through the central North Island's rugged alpine desert.