The near perfect volcanic cone of Mount Ngauruhoe entices many visitors to its summit
You can climb to the summit of Mt Ngauruhoe via a poled route which leads from Mangatepopo Road end (this can also be done part of the Tongariro Crossing).
At the saddle between Ngauruhoe and Tongariro the route is not marked but climb up the old lava flow. (Be aware of the falling rocks dislodged by other climbers) Avoid entering the inner crater area, where volcanic fumaroles may emit overpowering gases. Then descend via the red scoria, then on the loose scree to either side of the ridge.
The climb should not be undertaken in winter without mountaineering experience and equipment or an experienced guide. Icy slopes can make this climb hazardous.
Lord of the Rings
Mount Tongariro and its surroundings are one of the several locations where Peter Jackson shot the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Tongariro National Park was home to the most sinister of the Lord of the Rings locations, Mordor, which is the strong hold of the dark Lord Sauron. In particular, Mt Ngauruhoe was digitally transformed to create the fiery Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings Films. see Lord of the Rings locations Ruapehu.
In Maori legend, the high priest, Ngatoroirangi was caught in a blizzard while climbing Mount Ngauruhoe. He prayed to his sisters in Hawaiki to send him fire to save him from freezing. The flames they sent south emerged first at White Island, then Rotorua and Taupo before finally bursting at Ngatoroirangi’s feet. Thus Ngatoroirangi is credited with bringing volcanic activity to Aotearoa New Zealand not as a curse upon the land, but as a blessing.