Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro

  • Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro
  • Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro
  • Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro
  • Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro
  • Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro

Location: Tongariro National Park. Central North Island
Nearest Town: National Park
Nearest City: Taupo
Length of Walk: 0.00kms
Time Needed: 2 hours 30 minutes. To Upper Tama Lake
Difficulty: Medium
Wheelchair Access: No
Route: Double back
Elevation: 1 430m
Wet Feet: No
Toilets: No
Dogs: No
Cellphone: Yes
Date last walked: October, 2007
Track quality: 

The first 10 minutes is very good. Then it turns in to a rough track all the way up to the fall. From the falls to Tama Lakes is very rough, muddy, slippery and very wet after a day of rain.

Petrol station: 

In National Park (15ks)

Hazards: 

Be Prepared for the worst. Zero visibility when (at any time of the day) the clouds roll in. Very bone chilling wind, DO NOT go to the Tama Lakes without a heavy warm winter jacket, gloves and hat. Very Slippery after rain.

Transport: 

Yes, bus from National Park

Water: 

No. All creek water MUST BE Boiled.

Driving Instructions: 

In National Park drive south for 200m. On the left is the Highway (47) to Taupo and Whakpapa Village. Drive on for 8.8ks to the turn off to Whakpapa Village. Turn right on to Highway (48), Drive 6.1ks to reach the Village.

Camping on track: 

Not within 500m of a walking track.

Track highlights: 

Water falls, tussock and alpine shrub lands and beech forest.

Area & Track History: 

Ruapehu erupted 15.000 years ago. So there is no shortage of exposed lava flows. In 1894 the Tongariro National park was formed. The park is made up of 78.618 hectares. Call in to the Whakpapa Visitors centre it is open 7 days a week. For weather updates and to watch the audiovisual presentation

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Start

Photo of Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Start

Drive up past the Chateau and take the next turn to the left on Ngauruhoe Place. Drive to the end of the road. Three minute drive, all up. Again, there is formation for you to read before you get under way.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 2

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 2
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 2

This was the Waihohonu horse track many years ago. The walk starts with red tussock and small patches of Manuka. Then into alpine shrub. The track is a very comfortable uphill walk to the falls with four small gullies’s to cross. In a couple of places it can be a bit sticky. For the amount of traffic on this track, you would expect the track to be in a lot better condition. You will enjoy the short walk through the mountain beach at the beginning of the track so walk slowly the rest of the walk is in the open.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 3

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 3
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 3

Pick your day for this walk. The weather can change from sunny with unlimited visibility to a white out in 30 minutes. If you get caught out on a whiteout, head back there is no point going any further.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 4

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 4
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 4

(1 Hour ) Cross over the Wairere Stream bridge and turn to the left and walk over to the edge of the water fall. BE CEARFULL. It is a long way down to the bottom of the falls. The rocks will be very slippery with the slightest amount of moisture on them. Refer to the Taranaki Falls walk for photos and description.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 5

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 5
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 5
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 5

Cross over the bridge and walk up the gentle hill to the sign post, then turn to the right. From here the track is a little rough and muddy in places; don’t get your hopes up when you see the board walks, it is short lived. From here it is up hill for the next (15min) you can see the track wind its way up the hill from the sign post.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 6

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 6
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 6

At the top you can see out (3.6ks) to the ridge you have to walk along to reach to upper Tama Lake. 7.8ks to south is Mt Ruapehu.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7

All most there, just a short walk up the dry rocky creek to the turn off to the Tama Lakes (2h 20 min) or walk another (2h 30m) to Waihohonu Hut.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 7

All most there, just a short walk up the dry rocky creek to the turn off to the Tama Lakes (2h 20 min) or walk another (2h 30m) to Waihohonu Hut.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 9

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 9
Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 9

From here on, the wind can chill you to your bones, Even on a clear day. There were no track poles to follow, just follow the ridge to the top knoll. You will have no trouble seeing the upper Tama lake from there. Or just before the little climb to the knoll, (50 m) cut over on to the ridge on the left and walk (100m) along this ridge to great views of the upper Tama Lake. From the knoll, you will see fantastic views of Mt Ruapehu (11.3ks) to the south. And to Mt Ngauruhoe (3.4ks) to the north, on a find day of course.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 10

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro - Point 10

The Tama Lake is (1314m) and over your left shoulder, Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) and to the right Mt Ruapehu (2797m) and not forgetting the crater lake which has being throwing black ash over the ski fields, (2525m). Just in case you get caught out in bad weather, there is a 1m high circular rock shelter with no roof for you to sit beside, not as good as a hut, but enough to get out of the freezing wind. DO NOT rely on this shelter to get you out of trouble; You should not be there in the first place, watch the weather forecast.