Tongariro National Park History
Tongariro National Park was established in 1887 and is New Zealand’s oldest national park. This stunning winter wonderland is one of only a handful of sites throughout the world to be given dual natural and cultural World Heritage status by UNESCO. The park’s boundaries enclose over 79,000 hectares.
Tongariro National Park boast diverse landscapes consisting of volcanic peaks, dense beech forests, thermal hot springs and numerous walking tracks including the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing which many consider the finest one-day walk in New Zealand.
Snow – Mt Ruapehu
Mount Ruapehu is the tallest of three volcanoes in Tongariro National Park, and at 2,797 metres above sea level, it is also the North Island’s highest point. Near to the summit of Ruapehu is a steaming crater lake, a constant reminder to visitors that this volcano is very much alive, albeit currently resting. Mount Ruapehu has two large, commercial ski areas, one named Turoa and the other Whakapapa. The ski season operates between late June through to the end of November.
Hiking – The Tongariro Crossing
The Tongariro National Park has an endless supply of world-class hiking and walks to complete. At varying altitudes and at very degrees of difficultly there is something for everyone. Climb to the top of all three peaks, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro, of the park, complete the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing or complete one of the spectacular shorter or loop tracks. The Mangawhero Walkway can be completed from the hotel.
Cycling – The Old Coach Road
The Tongariro National Park cycle ways includes the great Mountain to Sea – Nga Ara Tuhono cycleway, one of nineteen New Zealand Great Rides. This ride can be broken down into a number of rides easily assessable from the hotel including The Ohakune Old Coach Road, The Bridge to Nowhere/Mangapurua Cycle Track and the Ohakune Mountain Downhill.
The Department of Conservation together with Project Tongariro, a small volunteer group work as a partnership on projects including biodiversity, history, education and restoration. The Department of Conservation actively participates in pest and weed control in order to protect the natural environment.
The National Park houses a number of Peter Jackson’s film locations from The Lord of the Rings Triolgy. Locations in very close proximity to the hotel include, Ithilien (Mangawhero Rivier), where Gollum catches a fish and Mordor (Mangawhero River and Whakapapa Ski Area). The stars of the Trilogy made The Powdehorn Chateau their temporary home whilst on location.