“A relatively joyless rough track joining the Taranaki Falls Track to Mangatepopo ('The Crossing').”
— Kerry Suter
River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Mangatepopo Track branches off from the Taranaki Falls Track, heading north when that trail turns to the east.
The track is heavily eroded in places, and the route crosses many stream beds. Ahead and to the right is Pukekaikiore, thought to be one of the older vents of the Tongariro complex. To the left is Pukeonake, a low scoria cone. Both Pukekaikiore and Pukeonake witnessed the last ice age when glaciers from Tongariro carved down through Mangatepopo Valley. The giant cone of Ngauruhoe and the flatter form of Tongariro are visible ahead. Ngauruhoe is a younger ‘parasitic’ cone on the side of Tongariro.
The last section of the track skirts around Pukekaikiore until it reaches the Mangatepopo Valley track. The Mangatepopo Hut is a few hundred meters off of the main track, and is a great place to stop for a rest.