Skotel Alpine Resort
Tongariro National Park
The Tongariro National Park is one of only 20 sites worldwide with dual natural and cultural heritage status. In 1990 the park was given recognition as a natural site of outstanding universal value because of the unique nature of the volcanoes in the area.
The volcanoes of Tongariro National Park are recognised for; the frequency of eruptions, their highly explosive nature and the high density of active vents. Another outstanding feature is the unusual interplay of volcanic and glacial processes on Mt Ruapehu. The Crater Lake is one of only two of its type in the world, where the interaction of Andestic magma with the glacial melt water gives rise to spectacularly violent eruptions.
In 1993 Tongariro National Park became the first property in the world to be inscribed on the World Heritage List under the revised cultural criteria describing cultural landscapes. Until that time recognition was generally given only to sites than included outstanding buildings or structures.
The new criteria encompasses sites where the spiritual and cultural values of the landscape to indigenous inhabitants are of universal value. The mountains at the heart of Tongariro National Park have cultural and religious significance for the Maori people and symbolise the spiritual links between this community and the environment.
Often described as the best one-day walk in New Zealand, the Tongariro Crossing passes over varied and spectacular volcanic terrain. In the presence of two active volcanoes you can experience some of Tongariro National Park's special gifts. A cold mountain spring, lava flows, an active crater, emerald lakes and hot springs combine to make this an enjoyable and memorable trip into a most interesting area of the park.
The Skotel offers a wide range of packages to suit.
The Whanganui River
If you take a journey down the Whanganui river by canoe, kayak or jet boat you experience New Zealand much as it was a century ago. Peaceful river scenes winding between shear rocky walls from which plunge a multitude of waterfalls, each different from the last.
Dense bush clad slopes towering above it all, the ridges crested buy ancient Rata and Rimu from which come the sound of Tui, Kereru and the startling Bridge to Nowhere, looking incongruously out of place, yet providing a fitting reminder of the endeavour of our pioneer farmers.
As you cruise down we will pass long abandoned steamer landings carved from the rock by early settlers, often framed by cascading hydrangea blossom planted a reminder of the civilization they left behind.
Your guides can recount tales of hardship, triumph and tragedy, which accompanied these early farmers and traders, plus stories of the early Maori, how they used this waterway as their transport and communication highway, their battles and culture. You will have the opportunity to meet descendants of these people still living on the river and caring for today's travellers.