TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
Tongariro National Park is home to 3 of the North Island's 12 active volcanoes - Mt. Tongariro, Mt. Ngauruhoe (aka Mt. Doom from the Lord of the Rings movies) & Mt. Ruapehu - the North Island's highest mountain.
In Summer it's known for it's fantastic walks with beautiful scenery, in winter it's a snowy wonderland and home to your usual array of skiing, snowboarding and other winter fun.
It features one of NZ's most popular walks - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and one of NZ's Great Walks - the 4 day Tongariro Northern Circuit. But it's also got some great day hikes like the Tama Lakes & Taranki Falls. And if you're not quite up to hiking to the top of Mt. Ruapehu you can take the Sky Waka gondola.
There's multiple accommodation options including caravan parks, national park campsites, huts (if you're hiking) & free camps.I feel like this is the sort of place you could visit again and again, and see something different every time.
We'll definitely be back - perhaps to explore in the winter next time!
* some pictures taken by me, some by my Mum! *