Round the Mountain Track

6 days

66.2 km

Highlights

  • Tussock country and alpine herb fields
  • Volcanic landscapes
  • Mountain peaks

Proximity

GRADE: ADVANCED

Bookings are required for huts and campsites in peak season.

You are here

Walk around a volcanic mountain and immerse yourself for days in the strong, silent beauty of this World Heritage area.

Ruapehu
Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu

By billandkent

Ruapehu
Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu

By billandkent

Ruapehu
Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu

By billandkent

New Zealand
Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

By billandkent

Round the Mountain itinerary

This track leads right around Mount Ruapehu, one of three towering volcanic cones within the Tongariro National Park. The cultural significance of this area to Maori people has earned the park World Heritage status.

Day 1

Whakapapa Village > Waihohonu Hut

 Follow the track as is leads through tussock and shrubland to the Wairere Stream. Pass through tranquil mountain beech forest to the base of the Taranaki Falls. From here wind your way upwards to the Tama Saddle. before descending to Waihohonu Hut for the night.

5 hours 30 min walking 

Day 2

Waihohonu Hut > Rangipo Hut

Today's track leads through the North Island's only true desert and one of the most unique landscapes in the park. Explore wind sculptured sands, stark volcanic and stunning mountain views as you traverse the eastern side of Ruapehu on the way to Rangipo Hut.

5 hours walking

Day 3

Rangipo Hut > Mangaehuehu Hut

Leave the desert lands of Rangipo behind as the track returns to picturesque mountain beech forest. Along the way the trail crosses the magnificent Waihianoa Gorge, a giant fissure through the volcanic landscape.

5 hours 30 min walking

Day 4

Mangaehuehu Hut > Mangaturuturu Hut

Weave through alpine tussock and beech forest as you make your way downhill from Mangahuehu Hut. Along the way the track passes Rotokawa, an alpine tarn featuring several wetland species, tumbling cascades and a lava ridge covered in alpine herbs.

4 hours 30 min walking

Day 5

Mangaturuturu Hut  > Whakapapaiti Hut

Today's walk takes you across the Mangaturuturu River, past lakes and through river valleys. Admire the spectacular waterfalls that tumble down lava bluffs in the Whakapapaiti Valley. 

5 hours 30 min walking

Day 6

Whakapapaiti Hut > Whakapapa Village

Continue down the Whakapapaiti River valley. Travel through groves of native kaikawaka and cabbage trees hidden in the beech forests on your way to Whakapapa village the end of your journey.

2 hours 30 min walking

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Department of Conservation

Click the link below for more information and detailed maps about this hike.

Round the Mountain Track

More information

Alternative routes

There are several access points the Round the Mountain track meaning you can hike in either direction or choose to walk a single section. There are also several side-trips available

  • Tama Lakes: 20 mins from Tama Lakes Junction.
  • Historic Waihohonu Hut: 20 min return from the new Waihohonu Hut.
  • Ohinepango Springs: 1 hour return from new Waihohonu Hut.
  • Blyth Hut: 1 hour return from junction east of Waitonga Falls.

 

Getting there

There are several access points to the Round the Mountain Track.

  • Whakapapa village: the track entrance is just above the Whakapapa Holiday Park.
  • Desert Road (SH1) carpark: 31 km from Turangi.
  • Ohakune Mountain Road: Waitonga Falls carpark and Wanganui Corner.

 

Need to know

The Round the Mountain Track can be walked at any time of year, but the safest and most popular time is from November to May.

This is a mountain wilderness area where the weather can change quickly, so come well prepared. 

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