Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
A fairly easy, though exposed, 5 to 6 hours 17 km return walk passing the 20 metre high Taranaki Falls en route to the Tama Lakes. These lakes occupy several explosion craters on the Tama Saddle between Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. The climb up to Upper Tama Lake can be challenging, depending on how windy it is. Be prepared for rain, wind and low temperatures.
Map Data: Google, Digital Globe, Department of Conservation (DOC).

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Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
The walk begins here at the end of Ngauruhoe Place - about 100 metres from the Whakapapa Department of Conservation (DOC) Visitors Centre.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Early morning mist adds atmosphere...

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Looking back at where we've just been walking.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Looking towards the top of the falls. That cloud of mist we can see in the middle of this photo is backlit spray from Taranaki Falls as it plunges 20 metres over an old lava flow.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Crossing the Wairere Stream just above Taranaki Falls.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Taranaki Falls - the perfect place for lunch.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Right... Now we'll head back up those steps and head to Tama Lakes.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
This river crossing can become impassable in heavy rain.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
At last... The turn-off to Tama Lakes. We go left here.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Lower Tama Lake - 1240 metres above sea level.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
The track to Upper Tama Lake.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
The wind funnels over this saddle between Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu. It is essential to bring good windproof clothing here.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
This stunted shrub is the only shelter from the biting blast of the wind.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
A great resting spot before the climb up to Upper Tama Lake.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
We climb up that scree slope and follow the ridgeline over to the right.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
Nope... Too windy. Even halfway up the loose scree slope, it felt like we could be blown over if we weren't careful. Up on the ridgeline would have been much more exposed. Oh well... We head home with the wind at our backs.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
It's amazing how it never seems to take as long when we're coming back from somewhere... Especially when we have a tail-wind and it's mostly downhill.

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park

Tama Lakes Walk, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

TAMA LAKES WALK - Tongariro National Park
And here we are back at the end of Ngauruhoe Place in Whakapapa Village.