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Wilderness roamers

by Ceana Priest | Outdoor Kid

Calling all peak pursuers and summit chasers! The Taupō region's rugged terrains and misty peaks offer the ultimate trek for those who dare to venture beyond. Scale the heights of Mount Ruapehu or traverse the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, where each step brings you closer to the raw, untamed heart of the wilderness. For adventurers who live to tell tales of untouched frontiers, these trails promise an exhilarating journey through some of Aotearoa's most dramatic landscapes.

Meet the dedicated Wilderness roamers, the hardy adventurers who have conquered great heights before them. Folks who crave the rugged, untamed beauty of the wilderness and scaling misty summits. Speed records? Nope, they’re too busy charting new paths and unravelling the secrets of unexplored landscapes.

Spike the caffeine levels at coffee shops pumping out rich aromas before setting off to ancient craters or across barren landscapes with a majestic volcano or summits emerging from ancient rainforests. 

No matter which way you arrive in the Taupō region, the peaks of the Central Plateau brood on the horizon. Embark on some enthusiastic peak-bagging followed by bragging rights with mates and a cool drink beside the sandy shores of Lake Taupō. For bold adventurers, the spirit of the Taupō region knows no limits.

1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing | Tongariro National Park

Red Crater on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Picture yourself strolling through barren moonscapes, dodging lava flows and emerald lakes with nearly 20 kilometres of alpine cardio. And when you think you've appreciated it all, Red Crater hits you with sunshine hot enough to fry an egg or winds icy enough to freeze it solid. 

There’s a reason this is one of Aotearoa's best one-day walks. 

Please note: bookings are required to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

2. Mount Ruapehu | Tongariro National Park

Mt Ruapehu at Tongariro National Park

Scale the highest peak in the North Island to the Crater Lake of Mount Ruapehu, where shimmering waters await atop an active volcano. On sun-kissed days, the vistas extend to Mount Taranaki.

Still, although the destination is epic, it’s the challenge of forging paths through summer’s rock landscapes or winter’s snowy slopes which make this an adrenaline rush for thrill-seekers. Start from Iwikau Village or hop aboard the Sky Waka gondola to jump-start your adventures and treat yourself to ‘Tea at 2020m’ in the Knoll Ridge Chalet – possibly the highest ‘high tea’ in the world!

3. Mount Tauhara | Taupō

View from Mount Tauhara

In the colourful tapestry of Māori mythology, Mount Tauhara's quest for love unfolds like a fiery romance novel. After a dramatic, unsuccessful battle for the affections of the maiden mountain Pīhanga, the lovelorn Tauhara now spends his days gazing wistfully across Lake Taupō towards her.

But don't be fooled by his melancholy —Tauhara's slopes buzz with lively activity! Adventurers, both local and visitors, eagerly tackle the steep pastures and rooty trails, braving narrow dirt channels and brisk winds for a chance to reach vistas showcasing the Central Plateau in all its volcanic glory.

4. Tama Lakes | Tongariro National Park

Upper and Lower Tama Lakes

Gear up for a wild adventure sandwiched between two mighty volcanoes. The ancient fiery eruptions of Mount Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu have sculptured the landscape into a playground for adventurous souls. Their explosive legacy from millennia ago is etched into the windswept saddle between them. Hike to lofty vantage points and peer into gaping blast craters turned into enchanting alpine lakes surrounded by tussock and alpine herb fields.

5. Mount Pureora | Pureora Forest Park

Mount Pureora's summit

Say goodbye to endless foothills with this adventure that kicks off high in the wilds of a rainforest saved by eco-warriors in the 1970s. Traverse trails through moss-laden forests alive with the tunes of kererū/wood pigeons before wooden boardwalks and staircases lead to the lofty 1165-metre summit, revealing jaw-dropping views of Lake Taupō and every volcanic peak on the Central Plateau. Brace yourself for a summit experience like no other, standing atop an extinct volcano!


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  1. Home
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