Manawatu-Wanganui

Manawatu-Wanganui is a large, loosely populated region on the North Island of New Zealand. It includes the cities and towns of Levin, Ohakune, Palmerston North, Taumarunui, Whakapapa Village, and Whanganui, as well as two national parks: Whanganui National Park and Tongariro National Park. One of the premier day hikes in the region is Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is renowned as one of the greatest single day treks in the world.

Highlights of Manawatu-Wanganui

  • This circuit in the Whakapapa Village area of Tongariro National Park crosses volcanic landscapes to a beautiful 20-meter tall waterfall that you can stand behind.
  • These pools can be found along Waitonga Falls Track in Tongariro National Park, providing a postcard view of Mount Ruapehu reflected in an alpine bog before you reach a waterfall that plunges down a canyon wall.
  • Considered one of the very best day hikes in the world, this epic through-hike crosses an ever-changing volcanic landscape past craters, pools, and volcanic peaks in Tongariro National Park.
  • This easy walk just outside of Tongariro National Park leads to a peaceful blue lake that reflects a view of Mount Ruapehu, the tallest mountain on the North Island.
  • Located at the south end of the Manawatu-Wanganui region, these big spherical boulders known as cannonball concretions are clustered in a moss-covered forest that is charming to walk through.
Manawatu-Wanganui Region Map
The Manawatu-Wanganui Region of New Zealand

Tracks in Manawatu-Wanganui

This collection of walking tracks (hiking trails) in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region of New Zealand is listed from north to south and may be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next outing. Each track links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Tongariro Alpine Crossing180Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This through-hike ventures across dynamic volcanic landscapes in Tongariro National Park and ranks among the world's greatest day hikes.
19.4 km
1125 meters
-39.144398,
175.580942
Tawhai Falls183Tawhai Falls
This out and back return hike visits a short but enticing single-drop waterfall near Whakapapa Village in Tongariro National Park.
0.8 km
40 meters
-39.175314,
175.5136
Taranaki Falls185Taranaki Falls
This loop crosses a variety of volcano-influenced landscapes to reach a beautiful 20-meter tall waterfall in Tongariro National Park.
6.45 km
115 meters
-39.19955,
175.5429
Silica Rapids187Silica Rapids
This track leaves from Whakapapa Village in Tongariro National Park and crosses alpine bogs, forests, streams, and ridges of volcanic rock to reach creamy cascades on silica terraces.
5.15 - 7.15 km
190 meters
-39.2036,
175.54015
Mangawhero Falls195Mangawhero Falls
This short, easy hike leads to a viewpoint for a 25-meter tall waterfall below Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park.
0.3 km
10 meters
-39.319218,
175.502732
Waitonga Falls Track196Waitonga Falls
This out and back return hike reaches Tongariro National Park's tallest waterfall and passes through an alpine wetland that reflect views of Mount Ruapehu.
4 km
110 meters
-39.32958,
175.49579
Rimu Walk198Rimu Walk
This short, level walk explores a Rimu forest along the Mangawhero River near the town of Ohakune at the south end of Tongariro National Park.
0.8 km
8 meters
-39.39984,
175.41498
Lake Rotokura200Lake Rotokura
This out and back return hike reaches a peaceful blue lake that reflects a view of Mount Ruapehu, the tallest mountain on the North Island.
2 km
75 meters
-39.437782,
175.519195
Whitecliffs Boulders250Whitecliffs Boulders
This walk goes through sheep pastures and down cliffs by the Rangitikei River to a small forest filled with large spherical boulders that are quite unique.
4.1 km
140 meters
-39.8483,
175.7664

Camping in Manawatu-Wanganui

Many places to camp can be found all over New Zealand, including Department of Conservation campgrounds and holiday parks that are usually run privately. Holiday Parks offer powered sites where campervans and RVs can plug in. They also offer kitchens and dining areas, bathrooms with showers, and other amenities. Most Department of Conservation campgrounds are fairly basic, but some offer extra amenities as well. There are also huts for backpacks throughout New Zealand’s parks. Pricing in New Zealand is done per person and not per site. Checkout time is typically 10 a.m. and you can check in in the afternoon.

Mangawhero CampgroundMangawhero Campground
This campground in Tongariro National Park near Ohakuna, New Zealand has twelves sites on two loops with views of Mount Ruapehu.
Whakapapa Holiday ParkWhakapapa Holiday Park
This holiday park in Whakapapa Village offers tent sites, campervan sites, cabins, and a backpackers lodge along a stream below Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park.

 

Lodging in Manawatu-Wanganui

There are nice places to stay throughout the Manawatu-Wanganui Region.

Rathmoy LodgeRathmoy Lodge
This lodge along the Rangitikei River is in a beautiful country setting that is private, elegant, and comfortable. Relax in and around the lodge, go for a swim, or tackle one of the area’s adventures.

 

View New Zealand tracks, campgrounds, and lodging in a larger map
Or explore tracks in New Zealand on the Oceania Hike Finder Map
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Devils Punchbowl Falls Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Devils Punchbowl Walking Track Arthur's Pass Village Hiking Track Devils Punchbowl Waterfall New Zealand Devil's Punchbowl
Devils Punchbowl Falls is a star attraction in Arthur's Pass National Park. The dynamic waterfall plunges 131 meters into a canyon near Arthur's Pass Village. The area's Māori named the waterfall Hinekakai, taking inspiration from its beautiful threads of water. Visitors can reach the waterfall on a 2-kilometer (1.4-mile) round trip walk beginning from Arthur's Pass... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: March 10, 2017
Otira Valley Track Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Arthur's Pass Village Hiking Track New Zealand
Just over the north side of Arthur's Pass and 5 kilometers from Arthur's Pass Village, you'll find Otira Valley Track, which ascends a trough-shaped valley off the west side of the pass. The track ends at Otira River Footbridge. Under normal circumstances, a bridge would be an odd place to end a hike (since a bridge lead to something on the other side). The route beyond... Read more.
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Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Creeks · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 3.8 kilometers / 2.35 miles · Elevation change: 125 meters / 410 feet
By: Published: Last updated: December 29, 2016
Bealey Chasm Walk Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Bealey River Hiking Track Bealey Valley Track Footbridge Arthur's Pass Village New Zealand
North of Arthur's Pass Village, Bealey River passes through a narrow gorge, creating a mix of tumbling white water and blue pools. A footbridge on Bealey Valley Track crosses over this point on the river, called Bealey Chasm. Visit the chasm on a short walk beginning from State Highway 73. Bealey Chasm Walk starts with a short section of Arthur's Pass Walking Track and... Read more.
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Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Creeks · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 0.65 kilometers / 0.4 miles · Elevation change: 12 meters / 40 feet
By: Published: Last updated: March 17, 2017
Old Coach Road Walk Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Greyneys Shelter Arthur's Pass Hiking Track New Zealand
This mostly unremarkable woodland walk explores the forest a few kilometers south of Arthur's Pass Village. Much of the track follows an old coach road that went to Arthur's Pass so the walk provides a history lesson on the area's earlier travelers. The easy walk is 1 to 1.4 kilometers long, starting and ending at Greynes Shelter Campground. With just 15 meters of... Read more.
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Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 1.4 kilometers / 0.9 miles · Elevation change: 15 meters / 50 feet
By: Published: Last updated: March 10, 2017
Millennium Walk Avalanche Creek Waterfall Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Avalanche Creek Falls Arthur's Pass Hiking Track New Zealand
Millennium Walk is a very short hike from the visitor center for Arthur's Pass National Park to a viewing platform alongside Avalanche Creek Waterfall. This walk is 500 meters round trip with only a few meters of elevation change, covered over stone steps at the end of the walk. If you stop by the visitor center in Arthur's Pass Village, this short walk to the waterfall... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: March 17, 2017