1 Day plus

Round the Mountain Track
Distance: 72km (excluding side trips)
Time: 4-6 days – sections of the track can be completed as 1-2 day walks
Start Point: The Old Blyth Track, 7km from Ohakune on Ohakune Mountain Road (you can bypass this 1.5hr section you join at the Waitonga Falls track, 11km up the Mountain Road, if you wish to)
Difficulty: Hard

The biggest and best trail in the Region is right on Ohakune’s doorstep. Glacial river valleys to high mountain ridges, desert lands in the east to lush native bush and alpine forests in the west, this trail offers an unsurpassed experience of the mountain allowing you to immerse yourself completely in its awesome spirit.

Accommodation
If you are intending to complete the full circuit you will need to organise your accommodation in advance. You can either take camping equipment with you (although be aware that camping is prohibited within 500m of the trails so please use the designated campsites along the routes) or you can stay at the DOC operated huts. The huts provide very basic accommodation but do have the essential facilities including toilets and fresh water supplies. Depending on the season, heating and/or cooking facilities may be available in some huts.

If you wish to stay in the huts or in the campsites next to the huts you will need to purchase a pass before you set off. These can be bought from the DOC office in Ohakune. Note that during the summer peak season the Waihohonu Hut becomes a Great Walk serviced hut and additional charges apply.

 

Important Information
Whilst the majority of the trail passes through an alpine environment, there are no major alpine passes involved. However, there is always a possibility of ice along the trail and it is recommended that you check with the DOC office before setting off to determine if an ice axe and crampons are required. It is also recommended that you check avalanche reports for the mountain.

After heavy rain the levels of several of the mountain streams and rivers can rise rapidly. Do not attempt to cross them in these conditions. In many cases an alternative, slightly longer, route will take you to a safe crossing point. It is always worth using these detours.

The best time to walk this track is November to May when the tracks are normally clear of snow. Even so, conditions on the mountain can change extremely quickly. Please ensure that you are always carrying appropriate supplies and emergency equipment. You should also inform the

DOC office before you begin so that they are aware you are on the mountain
If you go well prepared and respect the mountain’s unpredictable nature this trail is sure to be the highlight of your time in Ohakune.

 

Ohakune Mountain Road to Mangaehuehu Hut
Distance: 8.9km
Time: 3hrs (with transfer – 5hrs if walking from Ohakune)

The trail begins just 7km from Ohakune via the Old Blyth Track and joins with the Waitonga Falls Track, crossing the stunningly beautiful Rotokawa alpine tarn and descending past the highest accessible waterfall in the Tongariro National Park. On clear days, this track offers a magnificent view of the mountain reflected in the crystal clear waters of the tarn.

 

Mangaehuehu Hut to Rangipo Hut
Distance: 8.5km
Time: 5.5hrs

The second leg of your journey takes you through the magnificent boulder-strewn Waihianoa Gorge and into the Karioi beech forest. The trail here features three suspension bridges allowing you to continue along the route even after heavy rain that would otherwise make the trail impassable.

Rangipo Hut to Waihohonu Hut
Distance: 12.5km
Time: 5hrs

The Rangipo area was the location for several major scenes in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and walking across these volcanic, wind sculpted plains, the only true desert in the North Island, it is easy to see why. The trail crosses two water courses during this leg: the Whangaehu River, infamous as the river down which the 1953 lahar surged causing the tragic Tangiwai rail disaster, and the Ohinepango Springs, which burst from beneath the old lava flow into the Ohinepango Stream, one of the most beautiful locations in the national park.

 

Waihohonu Hut to Whakapapaiti Hut
Distance: 13km
Time: 8 hrs
You can begin this leg of the trail with an optional side trip to the historic Waihohonu Hut (the first hut to be built in the Tongariro National Park in 1904 and has category one historic places status) before you ascend to the Tama Saddle. When the track splits, take the right hand fork to head to the Tama Lakes - sparkling crater lakes with views of Mount Ngauruhoe - and from here it’s on to the spectacular Taranaki Falls.
After this section there is the option to spend the night in Whakapapa Village or you can continue through the sub-alpine forest, passing the Silica Rapids and crossing the Whakapapaiti Stream to the Whakapapaiti Hut.

 

Whakapapaiti Hut to Mangaturuturu Hut
Distance: 10.3km
Time: 5.5hrs
With views of Mount Hauhungatahi, traversing the stunning river valleys of Manganui-o-te-Ao and Makatote plus visiting the peaceful surroundings of Lake Surprise, the penultimate section of the trail has some awesome features to keep you captivated.

 

Mangaturuturu Hut to Ohakune Township
Distance: 18km
Time: 3.5hrs
From the Mangaturuturu Hut, the trail passes through the vast Mangaturuturu valley and on to ‘The Cascades’, with their white silica coating. The trail joins with the Ohakune Mountain road at the 15km corner and from here it is a 2hr downhill walk back into Ohakune Township.