About The Mountains

The Tongariro National Park is centred around 3 magnificent volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings filming locations) and Ruapehu.

A tuku (an offer to extend custodianship) of the mountain peaks was made in 1887 by Ngati Tuwharetoa Chief Horonuku te Heuheu Tukino IV to the New Zealand government at the time. This was done to ensure their continued protection. They are sacred (tapu) to Maori and climbing the summits is considered to be culturally insensitive. 

The volcanoes of the National Park are unique because of the frequency of eruptions, their highly explosive nature, and the high density of active vents. Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe are three of New Zealand’s most continuously active volcanoes.

Another outstanding natural feature of the area is the unusual interplay of volcanic and glacial processes on Ruapehu. It’s Crater Lake is one of only two of its type in the world where magma and glacial melt-water interact to give rise to spectacular eruptions. To really experience the power and beauty of these amazing volcanic wonders, you just have to be here!

ruapehu map