Located in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, the Desert Road is a section of State Highway 1 running along Rangipo's Desert. Be careful as the weather can change very quickly. The scenery is stunning. The area is frequently lashed by wind.
The straight road is asphalted. It’s 63km long crossing the alpine desert and links the small towns of Turangi, on the North Island Volcanic Plateau in Waikato región and Waiouru, in the Ruapehu District. This road gains its name from being completely remote. Rangipo Desert is a barren desert-like environment. Its inhospitable weather makes it an interesting route to drive along. The ride is rather remote. Due to the unproductive nature of the land, the region is largely uninhabited.
It’s an unforgettable road trip. The journey offers an exhilarating driving experience, with superb views. An incredible journey, an unforgettable experience. The Black Gate of Mordor from the Lord of the Rings films was shot here.This is definitely one road trip that you want to record with lots of photographs. you'll enjoy amazing views of Tongariro National Park's volcanoes. The road was constructed in 1940’s.
Its highest elevation is at 1.078m (3,536ft) above the sea level. Due to the high elevations and exposure, the road is subject to strong winds and rapid weather changes. The road is closed for short periods most winters with barriers arms due to severe snow storms and icy road conditions. The winds not only dry the desert but blast exposed plants, causing wind-burn at any time of the year and often freeze-burn during the cold months. The winds can be brutally cold and will whip off the mountains and through any unprotected places like a frozen knife.