Waihohonu Hut, Tongariro National Park
A weekend tramp as an alternative to the multi-day Tongariro Northern Circuit can be made to Waihohonu Hut, where there are interesting places to visit nearby as well as along the way.
The shortest route from Desert Road takes about 1.5hr. However, a more interesting way is from Whakapapa Village on a well-formed track through open country with views of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe.
By going this way, the 20m high Taranaki Falls can be visited and there’s a side trip option to see Tama Lakes (an additional 1.5-2hr).
From the hut, there’s an easy 1hr, 2km return walk to Ohinepango Springs. The cold water bubbles up incredibly fast from beneath the old lava flow into the stream. A swim is for the brave.
Also nearby is the original Waihohonu Hut which was built in 1904 for park visitors travelling by coach. It’s been maintained as an unused historic hut since 1979.
Being part of a Great Walk, Waihohonu Hut needs to be booked in advance during the peak season; camping is available.
- Total Ascent
- Waihohonu Hut ($37 during Great Walk season, $15 other times; 28 bunks)
- Whakapapa Village