Driving on Highway 1 from Auckland to Wellington the views whilst traversing the Tongariro National Park near Waiouru are particularly stunning. Mount Ngauruhoe, an active volcano, is in the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s first national park and one of the earliest in the world. It was set aside (literally “made sacred”) in 1887 by Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku), paramount chief of the Maori Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi and made a national park in order to preserve its natural beauty. The park also includes the peaks of Tongariro and Ruapehu. The national park is a dual World Heritage Site for its outstanding natural and intangible cultural values. The popular hiking route called Tongariro Alpine Crossing passes between Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. Mount Tongariro and its surroundings are also one of the several locations which Peter Jackson chose to shoot the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Photograph taken 9th September 2009