Park in Whakapapa Village. The track starts near to the Skotel Alpine Resort.
This is a windswept and exposed alpine area. Be fully prepared for sudden changes in the weather.
All waterways including the lakes on Tongariro and his peaks Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu are sacred to local iwi, Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro. Kaumātua Te Ngaehe Wanikau asks visitors to the area to respect the sanctity of the maunga tapu (sacred mountains) by not touching or entering any of the waterways including the alpine lakes. Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro places extreme importance on their guardian role in protecting Tongariro and his peaks.
Follow the track from the village to Taranaki Falls. The Tama Lakes track (which is part of the Tongariro Circuit) forks off to the right just above the Taranaki Falls. Before reaching the craters, fork left to Upper Tama Lake.