The most famous walks in the park are the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, renowned as one of the best one day walks in New Zealand, if not the world; and the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the nine Great Walks, of which the Crossing is a part.
There are a wide range of walking opportunities to see many beautiful natural features. From an easy 20 minutes to 2 hours to see waterfalls and views of the volcanoes, to a more challenging whole day or several days with overnight stays, for a deeper experience of the park's spectacular landscapes. There is a network of nine serviced backcountry huts with campsites.
There are two wheelchair accessible tracks: the Rimu Track nature walk at Ohakune and the Whakapapa nature walk at Whakapapa Village.
View the Walks in and around Tongariro National Park brochure (PDF, 2,494K).
Mountaineering and climbing
There are a range of excellent mountaineering and climbing opportunities in the park in all seasons. Winter climbing to the mountain summits is suitable for experienced trampers and climbers only. There are also many rock-climbing opportunities in the summer season.
The New Zealand Alpine Club publishes a detailed guidebook to climbing and mountaineering in the Tongariro National Park.
There is some excellent hunting opportunities in the park, primarily for red deer but also including sika deer and pigs. View hunting information.
There are a range of mountain biking tracks nearby. The beautiful and historic Ohakune Old Coach Road cycleway is a grade 2 trail suitable for all the family. It is part of the Ruapehu-Whanganui trails and the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.
Local easy to moderate tracks include Fishers Track beginning from National Park Village, and Tree Trunk Gorge in Kaimanawa Forest Park, accessible from State Highway 1 (Desert Road).
For more experienced riders the 42 Traverse is a fantastic 46 km grade 3 track through the Tongariro Forest Conservation Area, close to the park off of State Highway 47.
Mount Ruapehu is the spectacular location of New Zealand's two largest ski fields, Whakapapa and Turoa.