Mt Egmont Waitomo caves
One of the region's most memorable sights must be that of the Tongariro National Park's three peaks which appear abruptly in the stark tussock covered plateau.The park was given to the nation in 1887 by the paramount chief of the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe, Horonuku, to preserve the sacred mountains. Covering over 75,000 hectares and supporting about 500 species of native flora the park offers opportunities galore in the summer and winter. From the grandeur of ancient forests to alpine herb fields and volcanic landscapes, Tongariro Park boasts numerous walking and climbing experiences. During the cooler months the park transforms into winter wonderland. Mount Ruapehu (2797m), New Zealand's occasionally active volcano, despite it's grumblings is home to New Zealands largest skifields, Whakapapa and Turoa. Whakapapa Ski Resort, internationally known as "The Magic Mountain", caters to skiers of all skill levels. The mountain is open all year round and during the summer months Whakapapa's chairlifts are open for sightseeing of the spectacular scenery nearby.
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