Guided Mountain Bike Tours

Tongariro National Park

Things to See and Do in Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks

National Park Village borders the World Heritage Tongariro National Park to the east and the Whanganui National Park, to the west. National Park Village is located near the base of Mt Ruapehu, at the intersection of SH4 & SH47 on the volcanic plateau.

History and Heritage

The remoteness and resistance by Maori made this area one of the last to be settled in New Zealand. The first major European influences came in the 1840's with missionaries on the southern reaches of the Whanganui River. The completion of the Main Trunk railway in 1908 improved access to markets for the logging, sawmilling, farming and horticulture industries.

Raurimu Spiral

Faced with towering mountains, steep hillsides, and deep ravines near the high plateau in the centre of the North Island, the builders of the Main Trunk Railway displayed remarkable skill in overcoming the many difficulties. Southbound trains from Taumaranui climb 636 metres in only 52 kilometers to National Park, the steepest gradient being 1 in 50, as on the last eleven miles where the famous Raurimu Spiral is located.

Whakapapa Ski Area

New Zealands largest, most developed ski area. Within the 600 acre boundary, there are a myriad of options that cater for beginners right through to advanced skiers out to challenge their limits. The off piste skiing at Whakapapa is also superb. Whakapapa Ski Area is located on the northwestern slopes of Mt Ruapehu and on a clear day has spectacular views across the central North Island. Popular annual events at Whakapapa include the G Force Mini X Games, Pepsi Fireworks Spectacular, and the Mt Ruapehu Spring Festival.

Turoa Ski Area

Turoa's terrain is nature's answer tot he perfect terrain park. the Alpine Meadow is a gentle, sheltered haven for the first time, while on the upper mountain, tricky chutes and steeps abound to challenge the expert. The wide, open slopes of Turoa provide plenty of great cruising, and the formed Terrain Park give riders a specially designed area to practice their tricks. Popular annual events at Turoa include the Mardi Gras Big Air, Spring Festival, and the Peak to the Powderkeg multisport race.

Crater Walk on Mt Ruapehu

New Zealand's most accessible live volcano. Local guides take daily trips to the top of Mt Ruapehu to see the world famous Crater Lake. You get to an altitude of 2,670 meters. From the top you get a fantastic view of the Crater Lake, nearby Mt Ngauruhoe, and on a clear day you can see Lake Taupo and both costs.

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The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described as one of the best one-day hikes in New Zealand. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek takes you from alpine meadows to mountain summit with stunning volcanic features along the way. On the Tongariro Apline Crossing you will walk across a lunar landscape of craters, scattered pumice, active volcanoes, mountain springs, lava flows, emerald lakes, piles of scoria and statue-like mounds of volcanic desert. It will take about 8-9 hours to allow time for photos and any sidetracks, the summit of Mt Tongariro is 1967m and Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom, for all the Lord of the Rings fans) at 2287m above sea level.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track Transport leaves daily, weather permitting, from National Park Village. Your accommodation host will arrange for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Transport Shuttle to pick you up and deliver you back at the end of the day. In winter the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track Transport will arranged a guide, crampons and an ice axe, if you want to experience a true apline adventure.

The Whanganui River

The Whanganui River winds its way from the mountains to the Tasman Sea and is part of New Zealand's Great Walks network. Today this remote river provides a wilderness haven for unique outdoor adventure. Very few places in the world can take you a canoe on a river for several days totally cut off from the pressures of civilisation. People of all fitness levels and ages can experience the Whanganui Journey.

Early Maori cultivated the sheltered terraces and built elaborate eel weirs along river channels where eels and lamprey were known to converge. Every bend of the river had kaitiaki (guardian), which controlled the mauri (life force) of that place

Lord of the Rings

The Volcanic Plateau was home to the most sinister of The Lord of the Rings locales; Mordor the strong hold of the dark lord Sauron. Mordor is a great volcanic plateau filled with geologic wonders known as Gorgoroth. Much of Frodo and Sam’s journey into the land of Sauron was filmed on and around the Volcanic Plateau in the Tongariro National Park. The jagged volcanic rock formations and eerie barren landscapes were ideally suited to Mordor’s hissing wasteland. The maze of razorsharp rocks, cliffs and ravines of the Emyn Muil is located behind Aorangi Lodge up the Bruce road on Mt Ruapehu.

Ithilien camp was filmed near the Mangawhero Falls. Travel south to Turoa Mountain Road. The track begins from a car park on the Ohakune Mountain Road, 13 kilometers past the DOC visitor centre. This is a lovely 5 to 10 minute return walk to a beautiful waterfall. Not far below the bush line, the beech forest is stunted because of the rugged climate. Spectacular icicles form around the falls in winter.

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Whanganui River, Whanganui National Park

Whanganui River

Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park

Mt. Ngauruhoe

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro National Park

The Emerald Lakes (Tongariro Crossing)

Whakapapa, Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park

Whakapapa Ski Field - Mount Ruapehu

Turoa, Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park

Turoa Ski Field - Mount Ruapehu

Whakapapa, Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park

View from Whakapapa at Ruapehu

Tongariro Crossing, Tongariro National Park

Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Crossing, Tongariro National Park

Tongariro Crossing

Whanaganui River, Whanaganui National Park

Whanaganui

Volcanic Rocks, Tongariro National Park

Volcanic Rocks near Mt. Ngauruhoe

Tongariro Crossing, Tongariro National Park

Tongariro Crossing