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Lake Surprise, Tongariro National Park

Image of the December 2019 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
December 2019 Issue

Reflecting a giant

You can get a short taster of the Round-The-Mountain Track with a day or overnight trip to Lake Surprise. 

The walk begins off the Ohakune Mountain Road and climbs over several outlying mountain flanks to a high point beside Mangaturuturu River. 

The trail then descends steeply  beside this beautiful cascade to reach Mangaturuturu Hut.

Beyond the hut, the track crosses the river – a boulder-strewn obstacle course and the route of a 1975 lahar that scoured out much of the vegetation in the valley – and then climbs   to a boardwalked section that leads  to Lake Surprise, nestled amongst tussock and beech.

Sink into the tussock beside the lake and gaze up at Mt Ruapehu – the views of the peak from here are sublime. On a calm day, the mountain will be reflected in the lake’s waters.

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Total Ascent
4-5hr return
Mangaturuturu Hut ($15,10 bunks)
Ohakune Mountain Road