The Central Volcanic Plateau is home to three major volcanoes, Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro, two of which are still active, and one of which is popular in the winter with two ski fields.


The central region of New Zealand’s North Island is home to the country’s tallest mountains and it’s biggest lake. Mt Ruapahu and its neighbouring Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe are snow capped volcanoes; the stunning Tongariro National Park that extends over them is a paradise for adventure lovers. The park has a network of walking tracks and huts and is home to the Tongariro Crossing, the 'best one day walk in New Zealand'. In the winter months. Mt Ruapehu’s huge ski fields swarm with skiers and snowboarders

Lake Taupo, the flooded crater of a huge volcano, is a Mecca for trout fishers. It’s beaches are popular in the summer, and there are also cruises that operate on the lake.

The main centre of the region is Taupo on the northern shores of the lake. It is a popular base from which to explore the attractions of the region. Taupo has many shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. There is also a museum, art gallery and a botanic reserve. Taupo is famous for its thermal hot pools, both public ones and also private ones in many of the town’s hotels and motels. The areas geothermal activity can also be experienced at several locations including the nearby Wairakei Thermal Valley. Further a field the spectacular Orakei Korako is a thermal valley of colourful silica terraces and spouting geysers.

A short drive north of Taupo is the breathtaking Huka Falls. Here the Waikato River thunders through a narrow gorge and fall 11 metres to the river below. There are walking tracks and viewing platforms next to the falls, and the area is a popular picnic spot.

To the south of Lake Taupo is the town of Turangi. It is close to the Tongariro River, one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world. The town is also home to the National Trout Centre where trout can be observed in it’s underwater viewing chamber. Turangi also has some local hot springs.

The town of Ohakune to the south of the Tongariro National Park is a popular adventure centre both summer and winter. In winter it is packed with the skiers and snowboarders of the nearby Turoa and Whakapapa ski fields, and during the summer months, lovers of climbing, tramping and mountain biking flock to the town. There is also excellent trout fishing nearby.

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