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Volcanic Peaks of Tongariro National Park

Mt. Tongriro025

Tongariro National Park was the first national park to be established in New Zealand and the fourth in the world.

In 1887 Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku), then the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, gifted the sacred peaks to the nation.

To tangata whenua (people of the land) the mountains are a vital part of their history, their whakapapa (genealogy) and legends are venerated accordingly.

  Ko Tongariro te maunga Tongariro is the mountain
  Ko Taupo te moana Taupo is the lake
  Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa te tangata Ngati Tuwharetoa are the people
  Ko Te Heuheu te tangata Te Heuheu is the man

It is said that their ancestor, Ngatoroirangi (the navigator and tohunga of the waka Arawa) was close to death after exploring this mountainous region. He called out to his sisters from his pacific homeland, Hawaiiki, to send him fire. The fire came but its passage left a trail of volcanic vents, from Tongatapu, through Whakaari (White Island), Rotorua and Tokaanu, before reaching Ngatoroirangi on the slopes of Tongariro.

The three andesitic volcanoes at the heart of the park - the mountains Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu form the southern limits of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Volcanic activity in the zone started about 2 million years ago and is on-going today.

~ Department of Conservation


Getting there ...

More on these sites ...

Lord of the Rings

The park was a location for:
Ithilien, Mordor and the Gates of Mordor.

Between the profane and the spirit worlds: the conceptualisation of uplands and mountains in Japanese and Maori folklore

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