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Mount Tongariro is the smaller of the three main volcanoes in Tongariro National Park. Located in the active Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand's North Island, it sits near Lake Taupo, the world's most destructive supervolcano in Earth's last 70,000 years. Tongariro is a much smaller volcano but is still active with an eruption back in 2012. Today, steam can be seen rising out of Te Māri Crater where the initial eruption took place.
Mount Tongariro sits in the protected area of Tongariro National Park. This park has world heritage status and was chosen for its combination of unique beauty and cultural importance. In early New Zealand / European history, the park was gifted to the nation by a Maori chief who decided the best way to preserve the area from development and farming would be to give it away as a protected park for all time. History as born out the wisdom of this decision as Tongariro was one of the world's first national parks and remains in a pristine natural state today.
The Tongariro Crossing is a popular walk on and near Mount Tongariro. This walk was even classed as one of the world's top ten one day walks by National Geographic. The trail passes through spectacular volcanic scenery with views of Lake Taupo, Mt Ngauruhoe, and even as far west as Mt Taranaki. The landscape varies a lot from barren moonscape like environments to rainforested slopes.
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