Silica Rapids

Tongariro National Park

Silica Rapids is a short easy walk in the UNESCO dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park.

Highlights include lava formations, mountain beech trees, native ferns, waterfalls, golden silica rapids and wonderful views of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.

The Silica Rapids walk is an easy 7km loop track that will take you around 2.5 hours return.

The track begins 250 metres above Whakapapa Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village.

Through mountain beech forest, the track travels alongside a cascading stream, arriving at the creamy-white terraces of Silica Rapids. Subalpine plants, amid a mixture of swamp and tussock country, feature around the track as it returns to the Bruce Road 2.5 kilometres above the starting point. This highly varied walk reveals a range of vegetation types and also has spectacular views of Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe on a clear day. 

Find out everything you need to plan for this track and others in Tongariro National Park on Plan My Walk

Distance 7km
Time 2.5 hours
Physical rating Easy
Direction Return via same track
Dog access No dogs

Know before you go

Before you go outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Before starting out, hikers should check the weather forecast and track conditions -Tongariro National Park weather is extremely changeable year round. Check with the Taupo or Turangi visitor information centres before you go.

Be prepared for cold, wet or windy weather at all times. Heavy rain causes increased water flows in all streams and rivers in the park and they may not be safe to cross.

Giardia may be present in some streams in the park. We recommend you treat all water before you drink it.

What to take

  • Water and wind-proof clothing (jacket and overtrousers)
  • Warm layers (wool or polypropylene)
  • Sturdy comfortable shoes or boots
  • Food and plenty to drink
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • First aid kit

Opening times

Business hours
Open every day. Free entry
+64 7 892 3729
Physical address:
250m above Whakapapa Visitor Centre
Whakapapa Village
Tongariro National Park
New Zealand
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