Tongariro National Park
Established in 1887, Tongariro was the first national park in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. It was gifted to the nation by Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV in 1887. Just over a hundred years later, the park was awarded World Heritage Site, a status which recognises the park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features. The Tongariro National Park encircles the volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. The fact that the volcanoes are active doesn't deter people from skiing down their slopes and hiking to their craters. Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are sizeable volcanoes, 2797, 2291 and 1968 metres respectively, Tongariro's huge massif extends over 18 kilometres in length, it is a place of extremes and surprises, a place to explore and remember, from herb fields to forests, from tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau. Classic, cone-shaped Ngauruhoe is actually one of Tongariro's vents and Ruapehu had the honour of playing Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tongariro National Park is located in the central North Island of New Zealand. It is the closest national park to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and is very accessible from State Highway 1. Various types of accommodation can be found in and around the nearest towns Turangi, National Park Village and Ohakune.