Welcome to Waiouru
Waiouru (altitude 792m) is primarily an army base and a refuelling stop for those taking the 56km-long Desert Rd leading to Turangi. In winter, the road occasionally closes due to snow. A barren landscape of reddish sand with small clumps of tussock, the Rangipo Desert isn’t actually a desert. This unique landscape is in fact the result of two million years of volcanic eruptions – especially the Taupo eruption about 2000 years ago that coated the land with thick deposits of pumice and destroyed all vegetation.