Lonely Planet Writer

Volcanic rumbles prompt warning about New Zealand's Lord of the Rings Mount Ruapehu

New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu volcano, the mountain made famous by the Lord of the Rings and by its popularity among longboarders, has started to show some volcanic activity.

View across the plains towards Mount Ngauruhoe.
View across the plains towards Mount Ngauruhoe. Image by Matt Munro

Mount Ruapehu volcano, the mountain made famous by the Lord of the Rings and by its popularity among longboarders, has started to show some volcanic activity.

Travellers have been warned that visiting the region in Tongariro National Park  in New Zealand is dangerous, and have been told to avoid the summit hazard zone at the top of the volcano until the activity stops.

The volcano became known after it was filmed as Mordor’s Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings.

Earlier this month the eruption alert level for Mount Ruapehu was increased after a drastic increase in temperatures was detected.

Mount Ruapehu is a popular destination because of the movies, but also because of the beauty of the national park and the 12-mile alpine trail that allows walkers and visitors to take in the beauty of all three volcanoes.

Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand, also known as Mount Doom
Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand, also known as Mount Doom Image by Edwin Leung

While the warnings remain in place scientists are keeping a close eye on the eruption activity. Mount Ruapehu sits on a level 2 alert area which means it’s more likely to experience volcanic activity.

In 1996 the volcano erupted bringing devastation to the local landscape, but there has been no serious damage in over 10 years.