Explore the most popular birding trails in Manawatu-Wanganui Region with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
12 days ago

One of the best hike I ever did. 6 hrs, took our time, long and hard but so worth it. Imagine walking on a Volcano, and feeling like you are on Mars! Bring layers, good shoes, lots of water and a lunch. You need shuttle service at end or another arrangement. This is a one way 20k ride. Enjoy!

17 days ago

Best ever

One of the best

Beautiful, really varied hike. I don’t train for hikes but I wouldn’t consider myself unfit, though I found the Devil’s Staircase (?) very very challenging.
Mountainous, some looks like Mars, a bit of a scramble coming down to the lakes, and a lovely forest walk.
We took 2 cars, left 1 at Mangatepopo

I haven't done this hike, but for those who don't know, the volcano in the center of the loop, Mt. Ngauruhoe, is Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I have to confessed, we decide to do this hike because of "mount doom" and after completing it we were amazed with EVERYTHING. we did it around January 4-7, cant recall the exact day by now :/

We took a shuttle from our RV campground to Mangatepopo car park; and the same service pick us up at Ketetahi car park. (I think we used this one https://nationalparkshuttles.rezdy.com/190355/tongariro-alpine-crossing-return-transport-from-national-park-village-to-the-mangatepopo-car-park )
At the start it was misty and light rain, by the time we hit the real steep part it was foggy; we stay around 1h in the highest point, and when going down it was sunny.
Our shuttle pick us up around 9am, and we got the last shuttle back at 6pm. Took around 1h on the top and took a LOT of picture. we (I) are also slow pace hikers.

Is suppose to be very crowded, dunno if it was because there was storm in the area the day before (we had to re-schedule our trip to the area and stay in Taupo an extra day) but it never felt crowded.

Advice: Make sure you have rain jacket, do layers (I was wearing 1 t-shirt, 1 swearer, raining jacket; 1 legging and one water proof pant on top >> end up with leggings and t-shirt; swearer on and off)
We took 2L water each, but it was not as hot/humid so we consume less water than on previous hikes.
Good boots
DONT forget your camera :D

Enjoy

hiking
2 months ago

February 2018

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful absolutely stunning a day of dreams coming true dis this beast twice and miss it every single day. Always have dreams of it and will 100% do it many more times just for inner satisfaction

Great scenery if you’re not in a cloud (like it was when we did it). The trail was clear when we started but clouded up by the time we got above bushline. The biggest detractor is the sheer volume of people. There were quite possibly 1000 other folks on the trail and many times we were waiting in line on certain parts of the trail. For us this was a huge detractor from the overall experience. We hiked this in early March on a Saturday so that probably was a factor in the busyness. There are lots of other spots in NZ that are far less crowded.

I visited both north and south islands in November 2017. Overall, I loved the south island a bit more in terms of alpine hiking/epic views, but this north island hike ended up being my favorite on the entire trip. This hike has to be the most popular hike in NZ other than the Milford Track (not a day hike like this one), and for great reason. It also seems to be one of the most diverse hikes in NZ including volcanoes, crater lakes, glacial valleys, and rainforest at the end. We had every type of weather along the way, and I loved it. Bring rain gear/great boots and you'll be fine. This will definitely make a great memory if you decide to do it. Like I said. Very popular, but for a reason. Tongariro Expeditions shuttles from Taupo worked out great. Take the early bird shuttle at 5:30 am. to get a head start before the rest.

Best day of my life so far.

hiking
4 months ago

Epic..... even on a cloudy rainy day. The hillside and rain forest vegetation are completely stunning.

Most challenging and amazing hike of my life. Life changing.

Absolutely incredible

The best 1 day hike I've done so far..the most out -of-this-world landscape I've seen so far on the stretch mangatipopo hut to soda springs checkpoint..
Weather was manageable, light showers and heavy fog on the way..strong winds at the summit of the pass - 60kmph as per forecast website, but was manageable.
Elevation gain is moderate and manageable, distance too, nothing too strenuous. Distance is actually about 13.5miles. Trail is well marked and easy to follow and paved for the most part.
We were discouraged from the crossing due to the weather but realized that it was no where close to what they were making it to be. If in doubt, just do it, the views you will be treated with are priceless.

Great trail! We had sun, rain, and very strong winds. Hiking in the clouds and in a volcano was pretty awesome. One of the harder hikes I have taken but well worth the effort.

Just make sure the wind will not be too strong when you go there because it could be dangerous. After that, this is one of the best 1h trek in the world for a reason... it’s incredible !

Only reason for the 4 rating is because we weren’t able to finish and the sign at the beginning that said we shouldn’t hike wasn’t displayed when we left. We started out very early (6am) last Wednesday and while we were expecting a bit of wind and rain we were not prepared for 50+KPH and heavy rain. We didn’t hit the heavy wind and rain until the top when we thought things would clear up and we now understand why the signs with warnings are there. We ended up making the decision to turn back along with a couple other groups from Australia, Canada and Belgium. All of us just weren’t prepared for the sideways rain that pushed us around at the top and cold temps - we just need to come back and challenge Mt Doom another time.

If you can imagine the people as wildflowers in your landscape you will be rewarded with some pretty unique scenery and an awesome scree slide. Takes lots of vista stops even if the traffic flow is pushing you along.

Absolument incroyable! Un must to do!

Bloody amazing. We had the perfect day so the views were awesome!

Amazing views. Very challenging hike. Not for the faint of heart. Ascending is very tiring and descending is rough on the knees and quads. Bring food and first aid kit and plenty of water

Great weather, great hike! The trail is in amazing condition. Devil staircase is a challenging part of the hike and then coming off the summit, it’s loose rock and pumice. We did it with a guide because we didn’t know what to expect, however you could easily manage without a guide in the summer months.

Very picturesque parts of the track - certainly deserved the credit it's given, but can be tough of the knees and feet.
There are very steep inclines, loose rocks and gravel, and the top of trek can be very windy and cold.
There are far too many people along the track, but it managed to keep it's ruggedness nonetheless - so don't go unprepared!

One of my favorite hikes of all time.

Too many people, but worth it.

Steep scree climb. Nice at top.

We did this as part of our Tongoriro Northern Circuit hike (takes 4-5 days). Very beautiful! Very tough day hike. There are people who turn back or just sit down off the trail waiting for their group to come back. Hard on the knees. Very busy trail!!! It's basically a line of people doing this thing.

Volcanos, craters, tussock- what more could a girl ask for! such an amazing hike. We took our time and explored a bit so finished in 5 days. We started first with the Alpine crossing. This part is steep. very steep. I was also using my hands to walk I was at such an angle. Lots of rocks so be careful of your ankles and knees on this one. Did the optional Glacier lake on day five, but this is all scree and pretty steep. Worth it!!!

An amazing hike.The views are fantastic. Prepare for all weather. I did it in late January (summer) It was really cold when we started and then it got hot, then really windy with a bit of chill factor and rained on the way down! The track was incredibly busy at this time of year, but chatted with lots of really cool people from all over the world! My husband and I did this with our then 12 year old at his request. Even though he is really fit, it was tough going for him.

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