New Zealand – Manawatu-Wanganui
The Tongariro National Park is located in the Ruapehu District of the Manawatu-Wanganui region in the North Island of New Zealand and is the oldest national park in New Zealand and the fourth national park to be established worldwide. Acknowledged as a world heritage site since 1990, the Tongariro National Park is famous for its spectacular natural landscapes which also comprises of active and extinct volcanic mountains such as Mountain Tongariro, Ruapehu and Nauruhoe. Many spots in the national park was using for epic filming in one of the best selling Hollywood movies of all time, Lord of the Rings. The national park measures 796 square km in area and boosts 1 million visitors annually. The main attractions in the national park are its spectacular nature scenery of volcanic landscapes and geothermal activities which can be viewed through hiking, car or even scenic flights. There are also religious sites of the Moari people within the park and small towns around its boundary.
Panorama of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Image attribution to Jeff Pang @ Flickr
Image attribution to Patleahy @ Wiki
Beautiful landscape around the Tongariro National Park
Image attribution to arjanveen @ Flickr
Image attribution to Javiersanp @ Wiki
Solo view of Mount Ruhapeu
The local Maori people were believe to have settled in the area before 1300 AD and came in double-hulled canoes and the mountain summits in the national park are of great importance to the locals. It came under the jurisdiction of the British during 1887 on the conditions that a protected area be established. It become the first ever national park to be established in New Zealand. The Tongariro National Park Act was passed in 1897 covering only 252 square km and it was until 1975 when the national park was extended to the current size.
Tracking route along the Tongariro Crossing
Image attribution to anastasiass @ Flickr
Emerald Lakes across the center crater of the Alpine Crossing
Image attribution to Suegardner @ Wiki
Panorama of the Blue Lake
The Gollum’s pool is one of the filming spots in Lord of the Rings 2
Image attribution to Black Friction @ Flickr
Getting there :
The nearest airport to the Tongariro national park is the Taupo Airport (TUO), it is a regional airport and transits can be taken from Auckland, Wanganui and Wellington. This is followed by a 2 hour bus journey to the destination which is around 97 km.