An easy walk of up to 6km, Lake Rotopounamu nestles into the western side of Mount Pihanga. 30kms from National Park off SH47, the parking area is signposted on the south side of Te Ponanga Saddle. Beginning opposite the parking area, the track winds gently uphill to the track junction. To walk around the lake, turn right and follow a short section of gravelled track before dropping down towards Five Minute Beach. For a shorter option, from the road, take the track up to the junction and turn left.
This short 20-minute walk will bring you to Ten Minute Beach, a pleasant picnic and swimming spot in summer.
The Ohinetonga Northern Loop walk is partially closed due to a slip. The Ohinetonga Lagoon walk is still open and can be done as a loop by walking up/down the road between the two access points on the track. An easy and family-friendly 2.5km loop track, the track winds through a variety of attractive scenery, past Ohinetonga Lagoon and through beautiful forest. There are picnic areas and good places to swim by the river.
Only 35km from Whakapapa Village, turn off SH4 at the 'walking tracks' sign in Owhango.
Whakapapa Nature Walk
A lovely family-friendly 15 min loop track beginning 250m above the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre. See examples of the unique alpine flora of Tongariro National Park from the sealed loop track. A series of information panels explain the various zones of vegetation in the park.
Te Porere Redoubt
Go back in time at Te Porere Redoubt. This is a 45-minute walk which can be found 22.3 kilometres from Whakapapa on SH 47. Te Porere Redoubt is the earthworks of a Maori fortification built by the prophet and warrior Te Kooti; the last major engagement of the New Zealand Wars was fought here in October 1869. The redoubts are an example of the Māori adaptation of classic British military construction techniques. Given they are almost 150 years old they are in remarkable condition. Standing in the trenches you can almost picture the battles.
The walk to the lower redoubt is an easy 5 minutes. The walk to the upper one is a bit more strenuous, while it's not far, it's quite steep in some places but well worth the effort.