"LORD OF THE RINGS" TERRITORY - MOUNT DOOM AND THE LAST BATTLE SCENE
Tongariro National Park (50 min drive)
This magnificent national park, which has been rated one of the top 15 attractions in NZ (Lonely Planet) includes the largest ski-fields in the southern hemisphere, the great Chateau Hotel, The Crossings Walk, Volcanoes (Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, Tongariro) and is close to Turangi and Lake Taupo (see our other post). The National Park was NZ’s first and the world’s second (after Yellow Stone) and was gifted to the nation by local Tuwharetoa Māori more than a century ago. Long before it was granted dual Unesco World Heritage status for its volcanic landscape and deep cultural importance, the Māori believed that the mountains were strong warriors who fought among each other. In the process, they created the wonderful landscape that is so popular today.
Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) is the national park's youngest volcano and it erupted 45 times in the 20th century – the last eruption was in 2012. Activity has subsided recently but this magnificent mountain still lets off steam as it prepares for the next big one. Ngauruhoe is a volcano with perfectly symmetrical slopes, like Mt Fuji in Japan, and was chosen to star as Mt Doom in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. More information: https://www.nationalpark.co.nz/