You'll find the friendly township of Turangi at the southern end of Lake Taupo. Located near to Kaimanawa Forest Park, Pureroa Forest Park and Tongariro National Park, it makes the perfect base for anyone wanting to conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. If you're planning on attempting the trek yourself, read on to learn more about this world-famous National Park, the surrounding region and attractions.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
As New Zealand's oldest National Park and a dual World Heritage Site, the Tongariro National Park is home to breath-taking natural scenery and unique landforms. The popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing track will take you across volcanic terrain, past cold mountain springs, old lava flows, active craters, thermal steam vents, native forests and brilliant emerald and blue lakes. With a number of amazing photo opportunities, sites to see and a varied track, it's no wonder it's one of New Zealand's most popular hikes. In fact, it's said to be one of the top ten single-day treks in the world.
The track has two summits you can climb - Mt Ngauruhoe at 2,287 metres high, and Mount Tongariro at 1,967 metres. Either trip will take you approximately two hours - just make sure you allow plenty of time, as the up-hill climb can be strenuous for some people.
The Tongariro Northern Circuit
For those fit and ready to take on a longer hike, the 3-4 day Tongariro Northern Circuit is another great option. Taking you past active volcanoes, volcanic craters, bright blue lakes and steaming geothermal areas, the trek is well marked and suitable for those of moderate fitness. With huts along the way, you're guaranteed to have comfortable places to stay overnight during your journey.
Prepare for your trek
Remember to check the current volcanic activity to ensure the track is safe to visit. Also, prepare for varied weather conditions by packing weather-appropriate clothing, plenty of food and water, sunscreen, a raincoat and transport to drop you at the beginning of the track, and pick you up at the end. And of course, remember to tell someone where you're going and when they can expect your return!
While many travellers are drawn to Turangi due to its proximity to the trek, it's also the perfect location for an adventure holiday. Just 40 minutes drive will take you to the largest ski area in New Zealand - perfect if you're planning a winter holiday.
As it's built on the banks of the Tongariro River, Turangi is also home to some of the best Trout fishing in New Zealand as well as hunting, boating, golfing, mountain biking and horse riding opportunities.
Turangi is also just a 40-minute drive from Taupo. This popular destination features a number of other attractions including Huka Falls, Taupo Museum, Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, shops, cafés and restaurants.
If you're planning on climbing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, book your accommodation at the nearby Turangi Holiday Park - the ideal base for families, large and small groups, trampers, fishermen, skiers and adventurers.