Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park stretches around the three volcanoes, Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Tongariro. The Pihanga Scenic Reserve, containing Lake Rotopounamu, Mount Pihanga and Mount Kakaramea, though outside the main park area, is part of the park.
On the park borders are the towns of Turangi, National Park Village and Ohakune. Further away are Waiouru and Raetihi. Within the park borders, the only settlement is the tourism-based village at Whakapapa, which consists mainly of ski accommodation and an excellent I-Site or information centre. Two Maori kainga (settlements) Papakai and Otukou are not part of the park but lie on the shores of Lake Rotoaira between the Pihanga Scenic Reserve and the main park area.
Well-maintained roads that roughly follow the park borders provide easy access to Tongariro National Park. In the west, State Highway 4 passes National Park village, and in the east, State Highway 1, known for this stretch as the Desert Road, runs parallel to the Tongariro River. State Highway 47 joins these two highways to the north. The southern link is State Highway 49. The North Island Main Trunk railway from Auckland to Wellington passes and stops for a short time at National Park village.