In 1993 Tongariro became the first property to be inscribed on the World Heritage List under the revised criteria describing cultural landscapes. The mountains at the heart of the park have cultural and religious significance for the Maori people and symbolise the spiritual links between this community and its environment. The park has active and extinct volcanoes, a diverse range of ecosystems and some spectacular landscapes. This image shows, in the north, Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, embedded in a huge caldera which formed in the year 186 AD after one of the strongest volcanic eruptions in history. In the middle can be seen the active volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, named for one of its peaks. Other mountains include Mt. Ngauruhoe, which became famous for its role in the film trilogy 'The Lord of the Rings', and to the south the peaks of Ruapehu, Tahurangi, Te Heuheu and Paretetaitonga.
The image was taken on 21 October 2001 by the satellite Landsat-7 / ETM+ and has a resolution of 30 metres. It covers an area of 95 by 190 kilometres.