Mount Tongariro has erupted, GNS Science reports.
The eruption came from Te Maari Crater, on the western side of the mountain, shortly before 1.30pm.
A massive plume of ash can be seen coming from the mountain.
GNS Science duty volcanologist Nico Fournier told APNZ the eruption happened about 1.20pm.
“There was one eruption, essentially one explosion, and it was not sustained. It spewed some ash possibly a couple of kilometres up the air. The ash is now drifting to the east-southeast.”
Adrift NZ, which runs tours of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, had around 50 people on the mountain today.
Operator Stewart Barclay, who chairs a group of 30 users of Mt Tongariro, was heading to Mt Tongariro to help his guides and their groups off the mountain.
“I’m just going to make sure everyone is safe… from my guides perspective and from what I’ve heard, it seems minor.”
Here’s a reminder about how to prepare for volcanic ash fall.