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Ngauruhoe, Manawatu - Wanganui

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Submitted by Jonathan Cook

Info Info
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Trail Information





Manawatu - Wanganui

National Park

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Open ridges/tops


4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



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Please note: all peaks in the Tongariro National Park are sacred to the local hapū Ngāti Hikairo Ki Tongariro, who ask that we show respect by not climbing them. Access is not actually  banned, so this is a conscience call for all trampers and runners.

Starting at the car park, run up to the 'Saddle' on the well made trail which alternates between fine gravel, loose rock, sections of boardwalk and flights of stairs. Then scramble up to the crater rim of Ngauruhoe "Mt Doom". You will see a few different paths leading up to the rim. I prefer the steeper rocky ridgeline because its more stable under foot. If you attempt to walk straight up the scree slope, its 3 times harder because for every 3 steps up you slide two steps back. Wear gloves.
Then scree run back down to the saddle, massage cramp out of legs and be thankful you wore gloves for that part because the scoria is sharp and you will be using your hands a fair bit. Once back on the trail, leg it back down to the car park.

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Features of interest

You are in the World famous Tongariro National Park; and climbing an active volcano that was filmed as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movie.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start at the Mangatepopo car park for the world famous Tongariro Crossing.

    Large busy carpark .
    Regular bus drop off/pick up point for hikers walking the Tongariro Crossing.

    20 km

    22 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    In fine weather no issues.
    Heading back down to the saddle could be difficult if the weather closes in causing a white out as navigating back to the trail is very visual dependant.

    Generally good.

    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

    Most running water is very clean. you follow a good stream bottom half , but don't drink from the crater lakes!

    Sleet, snow, ice and blizzards during winter months.
    Exposed to very strong cold winds and heavy rain/sleet on tops at any time of year.
    Pick your day carefully regardless of the time of year, because the weather can change very quickly.

    The scoria is sharp. Gloves highly recommended for the scree slope.
    Trail can be very icy winter months.

  • Post run indulgence

    my place
    because I do it the best

    Chateau Tongariro.
    bottom of Whakapapa skifield access road. 15min drive
    its close and interesting

    how far are you willing to drive?
    Restaurant at top of the gondola/ National Park/ Ohakune/ Turangi

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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