Tongariro National Park Facts

Tongariro National Park Facts
Tongariro National Park is a 795.98 square kilometer park located in the Ruapehu District in New Zealand. The park was established in 1887, making it the oldest national park in New Zealand. It was the world's fourth national park to be established. The Maori had the land of Tongariro National Park surveyed in the 1880s to prevent it from being sold to Europeans, and the area was later given to the Crown with the condition that the area would be established as a protected area. The area was too small to be considered a national park and was therefore expanded over the years. It wasn't until 1975 that it finally reached its current size.
Interesting Tongariro National Park Facts:
UNESCO designated Tongariro National Park as a mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Site in 1990.
There are three active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park including Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. The summits of these volcanoes are considered sacred.
In roughly 1900 tourist huts were built but tourists did not start coming in real numbers until the 1930s after roads had been built, making access to Tongariro National Park much easier.
In 1923 the first ski hut was built and in 1938 the first ski lift was built in Tongariro National Park.
A hotel, called Chateau Tongariro was established in 1929 and still exists today as the center of Whakapapa valley - a permanently inhabited village in the park.
In the early 1900s administrators of Tongariro National Park decided to introduce grouse hunting in the park so they planted heather. The grouse were never brought into the park but the heather has spread so much that it now poses a threat to the park's ecosystem. Efforts are underway to try and control the spread of the heather.
There is a power system in Tongariro National Park that provides roughly 4% of the electricity in New Zealand. It relies on water from the mountains and preserves the environment as much as possible.
There are different forest habitats in Tongariro National Park including the podocarp-broadleaf forest, beech forest, and scrubland.
Plants that can be found in Tongariro National Park include kamahi, kahikatea, ferns, orchids, pahautea, and fungi, and shrub species, as well as a variety of tree species including red, silver, and mountain beech.
Birds that can be found in Tongariro National park include blue ducks, North Island fernbirds, double-banded plovers, tuis, New Zealand bellbirds, grey warblers, silvereyes, North Island brown kiwis, and two species of bats which are the only native mammal species in New Zealand.
Wildlife that can be found in Tongariro National Park includes red deer, possums, rabbits and hares, black rats, stoats, and cats, which were all introduced by the Europeans.
Visitors to Tongariro National Park can enjoy walking, hunting, mountain biking, camping, mountaineering, rock climbing, and skiing.
Heritage sites in Tongariro National Park include Fergusson Cottage, Glacier Hut, Waihohonu Hut, and Ohakune Old Coach Road.
Mt. Ngauruhoe, located in Tongariro National Park, was used as a filming location in the Lord of the Rings movie. In the movie it was referred to as Mt. Doom.

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