Northern slopes of Mt Tongariro

The northern tussock slopes of Mt Tongariro form the last part of the Tongariro Crossing. We are looking North from just below the Ketetahi hot springs towards Mt Pihanga and Kakaramea (also part of the Park). Lake Taupo lies beyond. The foreground lake is the natural storage lake for the Tongariro power scheme. A Moari Pa used to occupy the island in the lake and the remains of another Pa on the shore (near the power station penstocks) are worth a visit.

Lake Taupo is a collapsed caldera which now forms New Zealand's largest lake. It was once the site of the largest eruption in human history. Although there were human inhabitants for 1000km to witness it, the effects of the event were recorded by the Chinese. However, today Taupo is known for its trout fishing and things have been a lot quieter for the last 2000 years... but it will erupt again... The volcano on the distant horizon, Tauhara(?), marks the northern end of lake Taupo and the location of the tourist town of Taupo.

Cradled beneath Mt Pihanga is the wonderful Lake Rotopounamu (greenstone lake). The water in this shallow lake is crystal clear.. and the sandy shores are surrounded by virgin podocarp forest. The short 2hr walk from the road is well worth the effort!

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Copyright (c) 1996 Jonathan Carr