A Tramp through Tongariro

New Zealand's Ring of Fire
  |  Gorp.com

Tongariro National Park is the hot heart of the North Island of New Zealand. Created in 1894 as the first national park in New Zealand, and only the fourth in the world, it now has dual World Heritage status, on both natural and cultural grounds.

This is a surreal wonderland with active volcanoes, boiling mud pools, fumaroles, and sulphurous pits alongside tussock grassland and the country's only desert. Three volcanoes—Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro—make up the core of this park, which is almost 200,000 acres in size. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are active volcanoes, but Tongariro is extinct.

The Tongariro Northern Circuit is a spectacular, easy-to-follow alpine route that takes in the best of these natural phenomena. As a bonus it includes the Tongariro Crossing, regarded as the best one-day walk in New Zealand because of the unique craters, steaming lakes, and volcanic formations along the route.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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