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Tongariro River Trail things to do

  • 1 minute

North Island, New Zealand

An invitation awaits the visitor. Tongariro river trail’s ease of access to the scenic Tongariro River offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy one of New Zealand’s premier recreational rivers. Stroll on a 30 minutes (short walk) or walk the entire 15 km Tongariro trail. Discover one of the North Island’s great fishing rivers and wonder about your chances of catching the big one (trout).

  • Trail follows the Tongariro River through farmland, native bush
  • From suburban homes and backyards to beautiful river views
  • Excitement of suspension bridges and the prospect of swimming holes
  • Enjoy the sight of fly fishing and consider whether to give fly fishing a go
  • Dog friendly (on a leash)
  • Shared trail (mountain bikes with buggies on the same pathway)
  • Places to visit along the trail, Tongariro National Trout Centre & river banks where whio (New Zealand endangered blue duck) might be inhabiting
  • World class wild trout fishing on the Tongariro River
Tongariro River walks, New Zealand
Tongariro River walks, New Zealand

The Tongariro River Trail is a shared loop track classified as grade 2, an easy trail. Mature beech forest, regenerating bush with manuka and even Californian redwoods compete with grazing cows and the ever present river for attention. There are views of theKaimanawa Ranges.

Follow the trail from Turangi to the Tongariro National Trout Centre. Look for keen anglers in their waders fishing in the river. Pop down as an access track and enjoy river views. Take care as the Tongariro is fast flowing.

For families there are a number of short walks, check out Lake Taupo short family friendly, dog friendly walks – Best Bits.

Discover the wildlife in the Central North Island Plateau, 6 Taupo family friendly outdoors places to visit, nature explored – Best Bits from native owls (Morepork) to Siberian huskies. For the ultimate activity go rafting on the Tongariro and find out what the locals are doing to protect the whio (NZ native blue duck).

In the 1920’s the American author Zane Grey adored the Tongariro River with three visits stimulating visitor interest. The Duchess of York (Queen Elizabeth II’s mother) in 1928 visited the area for a spot of fishing. Prison Labour from the nearby Tongariro Prison was utilised to construct river trails and build a fishing camp. The 1928 huts were moved and became part of the National Trout Centre.

Short walks

Waikari Reserve walking trail

2.34 km grade 2

There is one climb on the trail. The Tongariro River Look (northern section)with views of the central plateau mountain ranges.

The Turangi visitor centre is a good place to start the walk. Pop into the visitor centre and acquire a walking map as well as tips on what’s happening. Use the road underpass to join the trail at Taupahi Reserve.

The Tongariro National Trout Centre is where you can view large plump trout up close, feed trout with fish food and watch them jump. Learn about trout fishing, its connection to the Tongariro and visit the whio (NZ native blue duck) creche and freshwater aquarium. Interested in fishing the Tongariro River? Learn more about fishing the Tongariro River.

Turangi visitor centre, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
@Turangi visitor centre

The Tongariro River originates in the Central North Island platea, tributaries Whitikau, Poutu and Managamawhitiwhiti flow off hill ranges and mountains into the Tongariro. The Tongariro flows into Lake Taupo.

Picturesque Tongariro River, North Island, New Zealand
Picturesque Tongariro River, North Island, New Zealand

Tongariro River Trail is a top natural attraction near Taupo. Did you know there is a classic family hot pool in Tokaanu to soak aching muscles or Tongariro National Park has a number of nearby the Whakapapa Village visitor centre. And, of course the NEW ZEALAND GREAT WALK, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a top attraction for many visitors.

Toilets are located at the Taupahi Road car park and there is a composting toilet at the southern end of the trail at the Red Hut carpark.

You will need to carry your own water.



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