Climb Mount Ngauruhoe

11.8 miles 3805.8 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Tiffany Young

Possibly summit one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes. Mount Ngauruhoe from the native Māori, also referred to as Mount Doom, is sacred land and although it's not illegal to do, it can be discouraged.

I may be crushin' dreams, but Mount Doom isn't actually the real name of the mountain Frodo climbed to destroy the ring (sorry LOTR fans), but the actual mountain does exist and it's called Mount Ngauruhoe!

Located in the Tongariro National Park of North Island, New Zealand, Mount Ngauruhoe is truly an exhilarating adventure at 2287 meters high and last erupting in 1975.

This adventure can be a strenuous day trip or an incredible 3-4 days backpacking trip. The route type, distance, and elevation in this adventure is based off of a day trip from the Mangatepopo parking area

  • For the shortest trip of 6 km (out and back), you can start from South Crater
  • Or you can take on the popular 19.4 km (point to point) Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

My flatmate and I took on the full backpacking loop in 3 days. On our last day we actually got up early to tramp backwards from our hut to climb Ngauruhoe.

This climb isn't just one to add into the books, but there is a lot of history to learn within the park and landt's worth doing some research!) Be sure to analyze your path before you make your move because this mountain has no specific trail to follow.


  • It is highly recommended to climb this mountain on a clear day for a safe ascend.
  • Long/durable clothes is recommended. (I personally did a lot of falling and slipping on rocky ashes on the way down.)
    • Try digging your heels into the ash on the descend for a stronger hold.
  • Be sure to have a good windbreaker. The wind can get quite strong.
  • Stay aware! With people climbing in front of you, rocks will move and fail down the mountain...
    • Be a good fellow climber and let others know when you see rocks rolling their way!
  • You'll literally be climbing rocks to pull yourself up the 30 degree mountain so prepare your hands.

UPDATE 2018: It is no longer encouraged to climb Mount Ngauruhoe. "Trampers seeking to climb Mt Ngauruhoe, or "Mt Doom", will be asked to show "respect" for the mountain by giving up their quest." The mountain is scarred to the Māori people and is a culturally significant area. Access signs have been removed and rangers will be placed around the mountain during peak season in the summer to encourage climbers to do just so.

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Overall rating: 

Great day hike

Beautiful birds eye view of the kiwi dessert and surrounding farming area. can see Mt Taranaki in the distance . Fairly easy climb,but there is a lot of scree(two steps forward one step back). Good fun sliding down! Max elevation 2,291m

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