The Mountains

Scenic Chairlift – Ride to 2000m.
ChairliftThe three active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are located at the heart of Tongariro National Park.

Mt Ruapehu

Scenic Chairlift rides
Ride two chairlifts over stunning volcanic terrain and ancient lava flows to an altitude of 2020 meters above sea level. Lifts operate – 3.30pm daily (weather conditions permitting) except Christmas Day.
Volcanic Walks
Join us at Mt Ruapehu on our Volcanic Short Walks. There are a variety of walks suitable for a range of abilities, with great photo opportunities of the Tongariro National Park.  These free walks are a must-do!
The Guided Crater Lake Hike and Cultural Experience
Experience a spectacular journey to the pristine Crater Lake near the highest point in the North Island. Venture through rugged volcanic terrain & learn about the geological & cultural significance of Mt Ruapehu, the Tongariro National Park and New Zealand’s first Dual World Heritage Site.
New Zealand’s highest cafe
Have lunch and enjoy the breathtaking views from the Knoll Ridge Chalet. A scenic chairlift ride will transport you to the architecturally acclaimed Knoll Ridge Chalet 2020 metres above sea level. The Chalet was constructed in 2011 and replaces the original Knoll Ridge Chalet which was destroyed by a fire in February 2009.
The mountains of the Tongariro National Park have deep spiritual significance for the Maori people.  Legend has it that the high priest Ngatoroirangi was frozen in a snowstorm while exploring Tongariro and he called to Hawaiki, the traditional Polynesian homeland of the Maori, for fire. His prayer was answered, via the channel we now call the Pacific Rim of Fire, and the mountain erupted.
Mount Ruapehu is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Minor eruptions are frequent and Ruapehu has erupted at least 60 times since 1945. There was a major eruption in September 1995 and the last recorded eruption, which was just a little one, happened in October 2006. Luckily, volcanoes don’t erupt without warning so visiting the mountain is quite safe. Above all, the sites are constantly monitored.
Mt NgauruhoeMount Ngauruhoe is the youngest vent and highest peak in the Tongariro volcanic complex on the Central Plateau. Ngauruhoe first erupted about 2,500 years ago.
Although seen by most as a volcano in its own right, it is technically a secondary cone of Mount Tongariro.
Mount Ngauruhoe was used as a stand-in for the fictional Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, achieving worldwide exposure.
Mt TongariroMount Tongariro is the most northern of the group of three active volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park. Mt Tongariro (elevation 1968 m) is a complex volcano of several craters that have blown their way out of what was once probably a much larger mountain. In the 1950s Tongariro pumped fountains of lava 300 m into the sky and in 1967 it sent glowing clouds of gas and ash down its slopes. Since then, it’s been relatively quiet, just puffing out the occasional cloud of gas or ash.