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

Could have been the most beautiful track in NZ and maybe it was few years back when there wasn't proper highway crowded with people walking literally in a queue, some of them playing loud music from teir backpeckers. The lakes in surrunding of people, it spoils the experience quite a lot for me...
The last 8km is quite long if i had new that i would probably didn't pay $35 for shuttle and just go to the lakes and back. (The price is quite unbelivable for such schuttle, i could go 500km by train for this price in Europe:-D
Anyhow i was happy i saw the Mordor.

One of the most amazing hikes I have ever done! Incredible views all along the way. The lakes are very beautiful! Took my time to stop for eating some snacks and take a lot of pictures and it was about 6-7h hiking. Highly recommend it!

Amazing! Tough for the first hard and descent was a little tricky.

Falls was a little dry, but majestic views of Mt Ruapehu.

Amazing!! No other words describe it. Such a unique hike!! We stayed at the Discovery Lodge and took the 4:50am shuttle and it was worth it! We got ahead of everyone on the trail and had it all to ourselves! Our shuttle driver warned us that there could be “gale force winds” and to turn back if it was too risky. The winds were ridiculous, but we were up for the challenge! At times we were getting pelted with pebbles! Our wind/rain jackets performed so well! Make sure to wear a good one (with a hood is a must). Took us ~5 hours to hike 12.6 miles. You must do this hike!!!!

Very nice views, but strong wind.

Loved this hike, to avoid crowds try and start as early as possible

One of the most beautiful hikes of my life! Highly recommended!

Beautiful! As if you're on Mars. Reminded me of Haleakala in Hawaii. Definitely recommend having a bus drop you off on the first bus. We used Discovery Lodge and left with them at 4:50am. Early, but worth beating the many crowds that come later.

completely stunning and amazing view, but the last sections down to the river is hard work but worth it worth it when you see the views.

Awesome great alpine level walk with spectacular lakes and scenery.

4 times in one year, smashing it! great track, awesome views. Take your rubbish with you please :)

I imagine it was a beautiful hike when there is nice weather. We started the hike knowing that it was going to be windy and rainy, but we got to the top and there were 50-60kph winds and sideways rain. Everyone on the hike was soaked. Thankfully there was a hut after the halfway point to escape the incline to weather for a bit. This is a great hike though, not too difficult when there isn’t bad weather.

Incredible hike through an active volcanic area. Magnificent colours in the rocks, lakes, and splendid far reaching views. The classic volcano shape was breathtaking especially from the flat dry lakes half way up. We took 5 and a half hours to do the walk from the drop off point back to our car. Book in advance with one of the many operators

amazing hike one of these best ever

Amazing! We went with discovery lodge and so worth it! We left at 5 in the morning and we rented their wind jackets. If you didn’t bring your own wind and rain proof (no soft shell) jacket rent them here, we were so happy with them on top of the mountain! Discover is the first bus to arrive so you have to mountain to yourself. We did it it end of November. There where people on the track but not so many and not in the morning. I love hiking but I’m not the most fit person. I had a hard time climbing those stairs and was a little frightened climbing the last part because it was fairly windy but what a view! If you don’t get a good view straight ahead, hang around a little bit it can clear up quick. Totally worth it, best thing we did in New Zealand (and we did wine tastings mind you ;)

Super nice Track and we had perfekt weather. Unfurtunate to crowded for our taste.

Did the sledge track and the view up top is amazing

Great hike. Bus company postponed us two days due to weather but made it today. Pretty windy up top amazing views.

Definitely worth it! It took us 7 hours . Check the weather before you go. Sunny days are the best but it’s still beautiful no matter what . It was cloudy when I went and it rained but it was still unforgettable.

1 month ago

Just did this hike today . Weather was just fine, barely any rain, however clouds inhibited some of our views. Overall . Totally worth it. This was on my bucket list- emerald lakes were amazing ! My husband and I started the hike 7:30 and made it back just in time to get picked up by our 1:00 bus. We did have to start walking pretty fast at the last hut in order to make up for time lost staring at the lakes

This is the best hike I’ve ever done, I recommend starting around 6:30 AM. Constant uphill for 2 1/2 hours then it is amazing. My girlfriend and I brought 4 sandwiches, 4 bottles of water, and some granola bars. We stopped to use the restroom and sat down for about 10 minutes to have a sandwich and finished this hike at 1 PM. Don’t miss the chance for this hike.

I was physically under prepared but it was a beautiful and amazing experience. Make sure you prepare correctly !

Stunning views. Even when it’s nice and sunny weather, it gets cold and windy above 1650 meters

A definite must do when in New Zealand - I can't wait to do that hike again!

I’m not the most “fit” person but I was able to complete this trail! Devils staircase seriously busted my butt, after that it was awesome with amazing views.

Amazing. Hiked it mid October, just as the snow was melting. Took crampons but didn't really need them. was a great time to go as we had clear skies and less people on the track. Still busy but definately worth it.

Such an amazing hike! Awesome views, well maintained track.

Really hard, but really beautiful! Once you’ve defeated the devil’s staircase, the fun hiking begins through the beautiful landscape, the mountains and the snow. Definitely a must do when in the Tongariro area!
Do as many stops as you need during the trail, and let the nature blow your mind!

So amazing ! We went in the middle of October and we have seen a beautiful mix of landscapes. A hot weather but also with some snow on the mountain !
I recommend you to go there !
Cheers, Zoé from Belgium

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