Explore the most popular Parks 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.

Easy to follow trail, gorgeous views, informative signposts about the trees and so many beautiful birds! A lovely stroll.

Legendary view! Make sure you pick a sunny/cloudy day with no strong winds.

Beautiful and challenging

The trail starts and ends in a relatively boring fashion. But that is made up for it by the middle section, where the views are spectacular. The only remotely challenging section on the trail on a clear day is the downhill after red crater, towards the lakes. The rest is exceptionally easy, including the uphill sections. They are short and not as steep as the hike profiles suggest. The downhill gradient after emerald lake is not steep or challenging enough in terms of terrain, to necessitate the need for poles. On a clear day, easily doable in 3.5 hours without many breaks or stops for photos.

Great day and a great hike. Beautiful 360 degree views. We parked at the Ketetahi end and took a shuttle to the Mangatepopo side. It was a calm clear day and the views were amazing. There was a little bit of mud and ice at the higher elevations. Highly recommend as a must do if in New Zealand.

hiking
24 days ago

Amazing views we did the upper section of walk first which I highly recommend then you get to go down stairs instead of walking up well looked after track we did this walk in the rain as we were unable to do the tongario crossing the photo taken is on this walk with mount Ngauruhoe in background very child friendly too

A hidden gem was a little difficult to find drive 10 minutes from turangi look for car park on right and enter on left we were recommended this walk and the locals call it the hidden lake and it is truely beautiful kid friendly well marked we went the lower way and finished with the ridge stunning scenery and well marked names of trees and birds we did it in the rain with wet weather gear and still throughly enjoyed it would recommend if your trip for tongario crossing gets canceled which ours did we did this walk in morning and then did the takinni falls loop walk by the chateau in the afternoon followed by the hot thermal pools in afternoon was a great day I encourage all to do it you will NOT be disappointed and if looking for somewhere to stay the tongario river lodge host Ross is amazing and will give you lots of tips as a bonus they also have free bikes so we did the tongario river trail

The weather was so good that day and the sky is clear so that you can see all the mountains. The crossing is long and the descent is the hardest part, but the track is in a very good condition!

hiking
25 days ago

Great little walk, more of a leg stretch than a hike but a beautiful spot.

hiking
muddy
washed out
28 days ago

This is a truly spectacular trail that takes you through an amazing variety of landscapes and scenery. Forests, rolling hills, steep mountains, desolate lava rocks, stunning lakes, majestic waterfalls. You name it, this trail likely has it. I did the trail in about 3 days, staying the first night at Oturere Campsite and the second night at Mangatepopo Campsite. I think going anti-clockwise was definitely the way to go. I stayed at the Skotel Tongariro the nights before and after the hike. I will say, though, that it should probably be marked “Difficult” instead of “Moderate.” I’ve done many of AllTrails’ difficult hikes, and this was by far the most challenging trail I’ve done. If I were to do it all again, I think I would have done it in 4 days instead of 3. I took some online advice to go straight from Whakapapa to Oturere, skipping the first hit and campsite. While not skipping the first hut would have made for a short day 2, skipping it made for a VERY long day 1, and I was quite ready for a break by the time I got to that first hut. I also MIGHT consider skipping the stretch between Mangatepopo and Whakapapa and just catching a shuttle from the Tongariro Crossing trailhead back to Whakapapa. That stretch of trail was by far the least scenic, and was amazingly unkept. You are literally walking through 1 meter deep trenches for large chunks of it.

Definitely a must do when in the north island, but only if you have some amount of hiking experience!! It’s LONG, a very tiring day that will leave your feet sore at the last few kilometres, but super worth it. I experienced all weather conditions, and wore everything from a down coat to a windbreaker to a fleece and a T-shirt with a base layer. Strongly recommend a good pair of hiking boots. We finished in 6.5 hours with a long (~1 hour) break for lunch at the emerald pools. Make sure the weather is good before going up because the red crater ridge was scary because of the crazy wind!! Overall, an amazing hike with unparalleled views, and generally not the hardest hike I’ve ever done...not easy, the ascents are steep, but they don’t last long. 2 L of water was perfect, as well as lunch and one bag of peanuts. Definitely would do it again.

Super busy. Paid for the shuttle $35nzd per person to take you from the parking lot to the beginning of the trail.

We did it Wed 24 April along with about 1,200 other people: “Heavily trafficked” barely gets it; this was more like Oxford Street on a Saturday. 5 stars for strenuous and truly fantastic views at the top and first half of descent. But first hour and last two pretty boring. You should take at least one stick for the first 500m of descent. The best place for lunch is the third lake - about 30 mins after the summit. It does not stink of sulphur, there is plenty of room and passably comfortable ground.

Best hike I have ever done! Took 6 hours to complete. This hike is rated as difficult but for an active hiker it was not as challenging as I expected, it is a really great break up between the difficult sections and flat ground to catch your breath. The devils staircase and red crater ridge will have your legs feeling warm but totally worth it. Power through the devils staircase and you will be done before you know it, if you stop and look up it will just feel more daunting. The emerald lake is a great view for lunch but can get crowded or just about 15 minutes later is the blue lake which has plenty of room!

Just perfect, don’t forget your poles!

Awesome walk! Make sure you have enough water, warm clothing and stamina

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was a great alternative to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which we weren't able to do due to weather. The trail itself was in good condition and lined with markers along the way, and with the exception of the last push to the upper lake, the elevation gains were moderate and manageable. The trail up to the upper lake was quite loose, so use care when descending. Overall, a very enjoyable hike.

Tiring as f*ck but worth it mate! #Bikog

Challenging but worth it. Every part of the hike is incredible. One of my favourite hikes.

We have been there 19th April on Good Friday!!! It was amazing, awesome weather for this day, we really enjoyed it ;-)

Super hike but quite demanding in places. A bit of climbing and scrambling required. Wouldn’t do it when wet. Great variety and views. We just did Lake Surprise and back

It lives up to being one of the world’s greatest day hikes. Pack layers, 2L water, and food for lunch. The hike up to red crater can definitely be challenging so take care. The hill down from red crater to the emerald lakes is very rocky and slippery. The rest is much more manageable. Pick a day with good weather and go!

Great day walk, beautiful views, freezing at the top so be prepared!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Do not underestimate this hike. Fantastic scenery and absolutely awesome terrain but weather can change in an instant. Started off beautiful and sunny but we encountered 100mph winds and -13 windchill temperatures. The fog, snow and clouds made this an amazing experience and even with lots of people, it’s definitely a hike you won’t forget!

Lake Rotop

Excellent hike but a bit crowded. Great views and fantastic landscape. Well worth the score legs. Weather can change suddenly. Be prepared to take layers on and off several times. Bring TP as toilets may be out.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Definitely a challenge as I am not particularly fit and have not done a ton of hiking. But well worth the effort. Took our group about 7 hours to finish and that included lots of breaks and stopping for lunch. The views are absolutely stunning and included everything from snow capped mountains to semi-tropical forests. Make sure to pac lots of different layers and bring plenty of water!

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