Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide to teh Voclanic Plateau in the Video tab.
The central North Island peaks of Ngāuruhoe, Ruapehu and Tongariro – dramatically visible from the Desert Road – are active volcanoes, part of the Pacific ‘ring of fire’. One version of a Māori tradition tells of a battle among the mountains for the love of beautiful Mt Pīhanga, while another describes how the priest Ngātoroirangi, exploring the area, was caught in freezing weather and called to his sisters to send fire from their homeland, Hawaiki.
Related web links:
Battle of the mountains
Historic volcanic activity
Geothermal areas associated with Te Hoata and Te Pupu
Tongariro mountains gifted to Crown
Te Arawa explorers
Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives. Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number CD 2490, track 1116).
Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way – its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit http://www.mch.govt.nz/roadside/