Search View
  1. Visit Ruapehu
  2. Things to see and do
  3. Walking & Hiking
  4. Tongariro National Park Walks

Tongariro National Park Walks

_DS_6156 Skyline pano 1.jpg
Whakapapa summer magic - photo Mt Ruapehu

We are lucky to have a variety of stunning walks in the Tongariro National Park. Wherever you base yourself you will be surrounded by vast beauty waiting to be explored. Our Greater Outdoors has a little something for every age and ability and all within an easy wandering distance

Short walks - Taranaki Falls Ruapehu Region.jpg

Taranaki Falls - Whakapapa Village credit TNZ


Taranaki Falls
Starting just below the Whakapapa Visitor Centre at Whakapapa Village this popular 2 hour return loop track is a relatively easy hike.  The Taranaki Falls are located around half way and cascade over the edge if an impressive 15,000 year old laval flow. This walk is great for a day out in the national park as the Taranaki waterfall is pretty spectacular.  

Silica Rapids
Starting at the DOC Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village this 7km return varied walking track travels through mountain beech forest alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the Silica Rapids. You will see a range of vegetation along the track, and on a clear day offers spectacular views of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe. 

Whakapapa Nature Walk
Family friendly 15 minute sealed loop track which gives a glimpse of the unique flora of Tongariro National Park. A series of on-site information panels explain the various vegetation zones in the park.

Tawhai Falls Walk
Family friendly 20 minute return walk to an impressive waterfall, that tumbles over the edge of an ancient lava flow. This jaw dropping waterfall is also the location of Gollum's pool from Lord of the Rings. It is well worth the stop. 

Meads Wall
A spectacular rocky outcrop which was one of the filming locations for Lord of the Rings. Meads Wall drops off steeply so tread carefully as care is required whilst standing at the edge to enjoy spectacular views of the valley below and Ngauruhoe to the northeast. 

falls waitonga.jpg


Waitonga Falls Track
11kms out of Ohakune up the Ohakune Mountain Road sits this gem of a track for all levels of fitness with a return journey of just over 4kms. The 39 metre Waitonga Falls is Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall. The well-formed track passes through mountain beech and kaikawaka forest and stunning views of Mount Ruapehu are enjoyed whilst walking along the alpine walkway. There are some steps to master coming back up from the waterfall but its well worth the effort. Go to Department of Conservation for full details.

Mangawhero Forest
Winding through dense native forest on the lower slopes of Mount Ruapehu, the well maintained Mangawhero forest walk is an absolute must do for nature lovers. A short distance from town, the entrance to the track is easily accessible from the car park at the base of the mountain road. The track is a near loop, heading uphill at first for 1.5km to a campground clearing suitable for picnics, then over the Mangawhero river bridge to gently stroll back down through the bush on the opposite side of the mountain road.For a full look at the Ohakune circuit, you can connect up with the northern end of the Mangawhero river walk, then follow the Jubilee Walkway, linking the three trails all the way from mountain to township. Cutting away at the base of the Mangawhero Forest walk, the Rimu Walkway is a beautiful 15 minute side loop suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Lake Surprise
15km up the Ohakune Mountain Road begins a 5 hour backcountry hike across volcanic alpine terrain, to a broad, shallow lake set amongst beech forest and tussock. Waterfalls and bluffs complement the backdrop of Mount Ruapehu along the journey, which after a period of open rocky country, descends into Mangaturuturu Valley beside a beautiful cascade flowing over smooth bedrock (caution: can be slippery in wet or icy conditions).

Show on the map