Note: I traveled to New Zealand in August 2013, but write in present tense so you'll feel like you're right here with me on my solo adventure.
I did two other shorter walks while in Tongariro National Park: Mounds Walk and Tawhai Falls Walk. They were more like quick jaunts than anything else, but nice just the same. Both are located on the side of State Highway 48 headed toward Whakapapa Village before the Whakapapa Visitor Centre.
Tawhai Falls Walk is on the left with a small lot to park your vehicle. A gravel path takes you to the falls that tumbles over an ancient lava flow. It's about a 20-minute walk.
Mounds Walk is further up the road toward Whakapapa Village on the right. Just pull onto the side near the sign; there's ample space to park safely. The gravel path takes you through some shrubs with a trickle of a stream barely visible through the thick ground cover.
I really wish I could stay longer in Tongariro, however, I need to start backtracking to Rotorua in order to check out other spots I'd missed due to the rainy weather, namely, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Skyline Rotorua. I'm excited to continue my journey, but have absolutely fallen in love with the peace and solitude I've experienced at this national park. One day I'll return. And who knows, I may just take on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing!