Tongariro; Round the Mountains

Key information: Tongariro; Round the Mountains

  • Circuit around the three key volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park.
  • Spectacular volcanic scenery at its best around Mts. Tongariro and Ngaurauhoe, where the circuit joins up with the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Tongariro Northern Circuit.
  • Beautiful views, multi-coloured craters and lakes and vegetation ranging from damp forest to scrubby heathland to alpine desert.
  • This is a hutted walk, so you will have to carry your food, sleeping bag etc but not a tent.
  • This walk is in remote mountains, on which you will have to be self sufficient. Come prepared. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is very popular.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating81.5
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest17.5
  • Human interest2
  • Charisma31
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating81.5
  • Note: Negs: Popularity in places; likely bad weather

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 85km
  • 7-9 days (5-6 days in the Lonely Planet)
  • Maximum Altitude: 1,880m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.



  • This is a serious walk, so come well equipped and take a good map (Parkmaps 273-04 is recommended).
  • See Trekking Atlas of the World (ed. Jack Jackson) for good information. Lonely Planet has good basic information.
  • This walk is snowbound in winter.
  • Ruapehu is an active volcano, which has erupted to disastrous effect (mudslides destroying houses and bridges) in living memory. Its crater lake is off-limits when it is active, but you can make a side-trip there (7-8 hours) from Iwakau village above Whakapapa.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.


Name: Jonty Crane
Posted on: 05/04/2020

Further information on this hike -

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.


Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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