The Mountains

The three active volcanoes Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are located in the centre of the Tongariro National Park. These mountains have deep spiritual meaning for the local 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. In September 1995 there was a major eruption, in 2007 there was a smaller eruption and there are very small eruptions which occur frequently. Luckily, volcanoes such as Mount Ruapehu don’t erupt without warning, so visiting the mountain is absolutely safe. Above all, the sites are constantly monitored by experts.

Mount Ngauruhoe is the youngest vent in the Central Plateau, first erupting 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.

Mount 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 1950’s Tongariro pumped fountains of lava 300 metres into the sky and in 1967 it sent glowing clouds of gas and ash down its slopes. Since then Tongariro has been relatively quiet, puffing out the occasional cloud of gas or ash.
The Mountains
Ohakune Top 10 Holiday ParkThe Mountains
Ohakune Top 10 Holiday ParkThe Mountains
Ohakune Top 10 Holiday Park