It is 17km long and takes approximately 5 hours to return from Whakapapa Village. This hike is a great alternative for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. You will enjoy spectacular views of the Tongariro National Park. Waterfalls, tussocks, alpine shrub lands, and beech forests. Tama Lakes’ alpine environment means that weather can be unpredictable throughout the year, even during summer months. Tama Saddle acts like a funnel for strong westerly winds, so windproof clothing is highly recommended. Before you begin your hike, check the weather conditions for Upper Tama Lake on the NIWA website. Also, make sure to check in with the local Tongariro National Park Visitor Centerfor updates and tips.
The creamy coating on the cascades are due to silica and mineral rich water from an alpine spring. At the bottom and crossing over the stream a flat stretch via a stand of beech forest takes you to the Mangaturuturu Hut, 1 hour 30 minutes from the road. Mount Ruapehu’s backdrop is enhanced by waterfalls and bluffs. Leaving the hut you come down to the evidence of the 1975 lahar . This is where you can see the immense power of nature in the uncut river banks. On a clear day Mount Ruapehu can be seen from the other side.
Taupo, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu all erupted later, adding to the cover of younger ash deposit. The path climbs steeply to the viewpoint of Upper Tama Lake. The soil on the path up to the top lake is quite loose and walking poles can help with the sharp ascent. You’ll be rewarded once you reach the top with magnificent views of Mount Ruapheu or Mount Ngauruhoe.
The trail continues with a climb up a flight of 100 steps If you are brave enough you can stand on top of the waterfall and look down and across the river valley. Taranaki Falls is the most popular walk. It is a 6 km loop that is suitable for all levels of fitness. One of several large explosion https://tongarirocrossing.com/not-quite-ready-for-the-tongariro-crossing-challenge-try-the-tama-lakes-track-instead/ craters on Tama Saddle. It is a great alternative from the Tongariro Alpine Crossing as you won’t gain as much altitude, therefore you might be lucky enough to escape some bad weather. Receive unlimited online access to all stories, trips and gear reviews.
‘Ngauruhoe’ translated from Maori means ‘throwing hot stones’ giving you a good idea of its nature as an active volcano in New Zealand. It is the youngest of the three main volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park with a summit of 2,291m. This can be reached when doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the most popular hikes in the country.
You can see the ridge that you must follow to reach Tama Lake from the top. Cross the bridge and continue walking up the gentle hill until you reach the signpost. Turn right. winds its way up. the hill from the signpost. If you’re keen to experience the phenomenal Tama Lakes Track, then get in touch with one of our local accommodation providers to make this hiking holiday come true for you. The car parks at either end are full during peak season, so we recommend that visitors use a shuttle to get to the track from National Park Village, Turangi or Taupo.
Walking And Hiking
Continue following the steps down through mountain toatoa and cabbage trees to reach the Tawhai Falls, which spill over an ancient lava flow. All these older lavas were already heavily eroded by the time the explosive eruptions occurred in the saddle area. The area surrounding the lakes up to about 3 km away is blanketed by volcanic material ranging in size from large blocks of andesite to ash, blasted out of the ground as the craters were formed.