19 Rankers Reviews
13 Tongariro / National Park Village
Silica Rapids is a loop track through mountain beech and subalpine shrubland in the Tongariro National Park.
A choice walk on a clear day, with views of Mt Ngaurahoe (aka Mt Doom) and Mt Ruapehu on the skyline.
A varied walk traversing alpine herbfields, the odd bog (via boardwalks), tussock country, a mosaic of mountain beech forest and a mineral saturated stream. The smorgasboard of raw minerals are dissolved in the meltwaters off the flanks of Ruapehu and deposited on the cascades of a tumbling stream.
The start of the track is signposted 250 metres above the visitor centre on the opposite side of the road.
The track is relatively even, but climbs progressively as it follows the Waikare Stream upstream.
Take a left after 10 minutes at the junction with the Whakapapanui Track. The tussock studded country is dotted with alpine bogs (crossed by boardwalks). Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are both reminders of how this land was formed.
Once following the Waikare Stream, you are mostly in mountain beech forest with lush fern filled banks. Punaruku falls are a prelude to the creamy white series of cascades higher up the watershed. Large flat rocks make natural platforms for just being. Let all your senses take this in. Oxygenated air from disturbance by the gravity energised water, soothing sounds from gravity energised water and easy-on-the-eye white water fro gravity energised water.
It’s a bit more a climb up out of the Waikare watershed and into the Tawhainui Stream, which is crossed by a bridge before exiting onto Bruce Road 2.5 km above the village. It takes around 30 minutes walking down the road, but watch for distracted drivers.
As groundwater percolates through the rock to deeper depths, it encounters hot magma. It becomes superheated and then rises through cracks and fissures in the country rock, absorbing minerals like silicate and aluminium. As the gassy water bubbles up through a spring at the head of the lava flow, the dissolved minerals are precipitated on the streamsides. This is a geological melting pot. Planet construction - live!
North Island ▷ Ruapehu ▷ Tongariro / National Park Village
Showing 13 reviews of 15.
Nice afternoon walk into the sunset, well prepared trail, a negative is the walk back along the road.
Very beautiful walk in a forest covered in Silver Beech. A walk with a little river on the side. Also very beautiful lookout/scenic view of the three volcanoes.
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Super, super nice walk, best we had in the park through native beech forest with good views of 'Mt Doom'.
Beautiful easy hike and not crowded.
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Nice walk to the rapids, make sure not to complete the loop though but walk back from the rapids. Otherwise you'll end up walking beside the road for the last 2km
Stunning scenery. Good advice at information centre. Well marked paths.
all these tracks in the tongariro national park are superb... this track is nice and easy on your legs, two and a half hours thru some gorgeous wee mountain schrubs....... look for the venus fly traps at the silica rapids.... a friend of mine said they were native to new zealand.... wicked place to live.... i love this country
Excellent walk approx 1.5 hours. Not too extreme with great views, strongly recommend.
Well maintained footpaths and interesting information, though some boards so weathered, they were illegible.
Interesting but in need of repair in places.
A great 2 hour walk taking you along the river with great views of Ruapehu and Ngaurahoe. Seems to be less walked that Taranaki Falls walk but is just as impressive.
Lovely 2.5 hour walk. More scenic than the waterfall walks that we also did. We did it in the rain + it was still good. When the bugs stopped singing we knew we were in for another heavy shower.
2 hour walk, easy. The views on the landscape are very nice and there aren't too many people. Good walk for those who don't want to walk all day.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍