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New Zealand’s oldest national park is an amazing destination for exploring. Overlooked by the peaks Mt Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe & Tongariro, you can stay near the mountains or in one the many little towns nearby where you can experience real Kiwi hospitality.
At this time of the year, the Tongariro National Park is busy with ski bunnies who have waited many months to hit the slopes again. If you are not in to skiing (like me) but want to enjoy the snow and countryside then you won’t be disappointed.
Skiiers stay in the National Park Village (near Whakapapa Ski Field) of Ohakune (near Turoa Ski Field) so these towns are always busy in the Winter months. Being ski resort towns there is usually something going on for the visitors. There’s just something about sitting by a roaring open fire when it’s snowing outside. You will find many local restaurants, lodges and even some cabins have fireplaces (a must I say).
If you find yourself being left behind when everyone has gone skiing, why not go for a tiki tour around the region. The Army Museum in Waiouru is home to the country’s military history and is a great place to visit. Take a scenic flight over the mountains, or pop around the unique and sometimes quirky shops in the surrounding towns of Ohakune, Turangi or Taumarunui which are a bit further afield. You could even take a daytrip or tour to Taupo which is about 90 minutes from the skifields.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the park is one of New Zealand's most spectacular tramping tracks, and is considered the most popular one day tramp in New Zealand.
The natural beauty of the park inspires you to take a long walk and soak up the surroundings. Be sure to take you camera as the photo opportunities are endless.
Skiier or not, the Tongariro National Park is a year round must see region of New Zealand.
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