Tongariro National Park is situated in the middle of the North Island, in the Ruapehu Districts and covering almost 80.000 hectares. The park was established in 1887, making it the oldest national park in New Zealand. There are three active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park including Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. The summits of these volcanoes are considered sacred.
Mt Ruapehu is the largest active volcano in New Zealand rising above the surrounding plains to 2797m. It is the highest peak in the North Island, with several subsidiary peaks. There are several small glaciers around the summit slopes – the only glaciers at present in the North Island.
Ruapehu is the Māori word for ‘pit of noise’ or ‘exploding pit’.
UNESCO designated Tongariro National Park as a mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Site in 1990.
Geography & Meteorology (Seas, lakes & rivers)