A campaign to help visitors stay safe and nurture the special values of Tongariro National Park, one of the country’s
most popular summer visitor experiences launches today, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.
Aligned with the Tiaki Promise
and led by Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro and the Department of Conservation (DOC), the campaign builds understanding of
the unique culture, nature and weather of Tongariro. The campaign focuses on key areas of visitor behaviour, including
cultural respect, safety and preparedness, and removing all waste.
“Tongariro is a sacred site, our first national park, a dual World Heritage Area for its cultural and natural values,
and a drawcard for around a million visitors each year,” Kiri Allan says.
“It’s vital that we respect and protect this place in everything we do. Generally, people know about Tongariro’s amazing
hikes and volcanic landscape, but understand less about the cultural values here and why visitors are asked to respect
DOC has made significant investments into maintaining visitor and heritage assets in Tongariro National Park to keep
people safe, protect the environment and ensure high-quality visitor experiences. DOC facilities in the park include
175km of tracks, 32 backcountry toilets and 8 huts. Each year DOC supplies 40 tonnes of hut firewood and removes over
100 tonnes of sewage from the park.
In 2019/20 122,200 people undertook the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Day Hike, with around 25% of these domestic visitors.
Even with border restrictions in place, DOC is anticipating high volumes of visitors to the park this summer,
particularly during the holidays and weekends.
DOC’s booking system data shows that there has been a 75% increase in the number of New Zealanders booking the Tongariro
Northern Circuit Great Walk this year. Winter use of the popular Taranaki Falls Track was up 21% in 2020 compared to
“This campaign is about helping to build understanding and respect, so when we welcome international visitors back to
New Zealand, Kiwis are leading by example,” says Minister Allan.
“Our message for every visitor is simple, please respect the maunga.”