Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's first national park, is home to some of the most spectacular volcanic features in the world, with the three active volcanic peaks, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro, being the central features of the park. They can be explored on the famous Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand's most popular day walk. The walk is incredibly diverse and you will experience many different geological and biological features from start to finish. Peter Jackson's epic "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy used the first part of the walk as the setting for Mordor and Mount Ngauruhoe and its near-perfect, conical shape starred in the movie as Mount Doom. It is possible to hike to the top of Mount Doom and pretend to throw the ring into the crater as a side walk from the Tongariro Crossing.
The national park contains many towns, but the few hostels in Tongariro National Park are mostly located within the National Park Village. If it is summer, book early to avoid missing out on accommodation, as this area becomes very popular during this time. In the winter months, Mount Ruapehu transforms into one of the North Island's most popular ski fields just out of Whakapapa Village.
In the National Park Village, where most of the hostels are located, there is a corner store just off the highway junction that closes early, so if you need food or supplies, keep this in mind. Most hostels will run shuttle buses to the beginning of the Tongariro Crossing walk and pick you up upon calling them at the end of the day for a fee.
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