Start at Whakapapa Village and follow the Taranaki Falls track 100m below Ngauruhoe Place. The track continues beyond the falls and crosses undulating tussock land and alpine herb field on a well-formed, marked track. Further on, the track branches left to Tama Lakes, easier while the main track continues to Waihohonu Hut. From this junction, you have a view of the lower lake with a surrounding backdrop of Mt Ngauruhoe to the north and behind you Mt Ruapehu.
It’s a strenuous 17km; 8hr hike past Mt Ngauruhoe and over Mt Tongariro and past the ‘red crater’ through some of the most stunning and barren landscape you will ever experience. To complete the ‘loop’, follow the unmarked track as it undulates its way towards Pt1450. This section can be quite exposed, so make sure you are careful with your footing. People with energy might like to take a break from their packs and walk down a ridge to reach a stunning view on the southern side. To preserve the lake’s pristine quality, DOC recommends visitors do not swim or touch the lake water.
If you take the lower path you will also encounter the smaller Cascade Falls, around 3.5km before you get back to the start of the track. From here on, the wind can chill you to your bones, even on a clear day. There were no track poles, so just follow the ridge up to the top knoll.
Who is the owner of Mt Ruapehu
The Tama Lakes fill the craters below the Tama Saddle between Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. From the Taranaki Falls walk, the track crosses undulating tussock terrain and alpine herb fields. The track branches to the left and continues to Waihohonu Hut. There is a view of the lower lake , then the track climbs steeply to a viewpoint of the upper lake . This track is a great year-round alternative for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It is also perfect for those who have completed the Crossing. The Tama Lakes track traverses a unique undulating landscape of tussocks and alpine herbsfields.
Weekend Walk: Whakapapa Village To Tama Lakes
It’s a small mini bus which is much nicer than the big buses. Grant, thank you so much for the update. I have made some adjustments to the Tama Lakes Walk details so it should now be more accurate.
Where is the Tongariro National Park located?
There are also spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. After a short climb through the beech forest, the track passes through alpine shrub-lands with wide and spectacular views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and the surrounding landscape. You can continue on a loop back towards Whakapapa Village from here. It crosses the Whakapapaiti River, passing through forests and open tussock-covered areas.