The walk to the Tama Lakes on Mt Tongariro will take you around 2.5 hours to reach Upper Tama Lakes. This is a medium grade walk. The Tama Lakes are stunning with views out to Mt Ruapehu. Enjoy an awesome day out in the National Park.
In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.
Drive up past the Chateau and take the next turn to the left on Ngauruhoe Place. Drive to the end of the road. Three minute drive, all up. Again, there is information for you to read before you get under way.
This was the Waihohonu horse track many years ago. The walk starts with red tussock and small patches of Manuka. Then into alpine shrub. The track is a very comfortable uphill walk to the falls with four small gullies’s to cross. In a couple of places it can be a bit sticky. For the amount of traffic on this track, you would expect the track to be in a lot better condition. You will enjoy the short walk through the mountain beech at the beginning of the track so walk slowly the rest of the walk is in the open.
Pick your day for this walk. The weather can change from sunny with unlimited visibility to a white out in 30 minutes. If you get caught out on a whiteout, head back there is no point going any further.
(1 Hour ) Cross over the Wairere Stream bridge and turn to the left and walk over to the edge of the water fall. BE CAREFUL. It is a long way down to the bottom of the falls. The rocks will be very slippery with the slightest amount of moisture on them. Refer to the Taranaki Falls walk for photos and description.
Cross over the bridge and walk up the gentle hill to the sign post, then turn to the right. From here the track is a little rough and muddy in places; don’t get your hopes up when you see the board walks, it is short lived. From here it is up hill for the next (15min) you can see the track wind its way up the hill from the sign post.
At the top you can see out (3.6ks) to the ridge you have to walk along to reach to upper Tama Lake. 7.8ks to south is Mt Ruapehu.
Almost there, just a short walk up the dry rocky creek to the turn off to the Tama Lakes (2h 20 min) or walk another (2h 30m) to Waihohonu Hut.
From here on, the wind can chill you to your bones, even on a clear day. There were no track poles to follow, just follow the ridge to the top knoll. You will have no trouble seeing the upper Tama lake from there. Or just before the little climb to the knoll, (50 m) cut over on to the ridge on the left and walk (100m) along this ridge to great views of the upper Tama Lake. From the knoll, you will see fantastic views of Mt Ruapehu (11.3ks) to the south. And to Mt Ngauruhoe (3.4ks) to the north, on a fine day of course.
The Tama Lake is (1314m) and over your left shoulder, Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) and to the right Mt Ruapehu (2797m) and not forgetting the crater lake which has being throwing black ash over the ski fields, (2525m). Just in case you get caught out in bad weather, there is a 1m high circular rock shelter with no roof for you to sit beside, not as good as a hut, but enough to get out of the freezing wind. DO NOT rely on this shelter to get you out of trouble; You should not be there in the first place, watch the weather forecast.
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