Grade: Moderate, allow 30 minutes
The descent from Red Crater demands extra care as loose scoria underfoot can move quickly and easily.
To the left you will see an old lava flow from Red Crater spreading out across the floor of Central Crater. To the right are the Emerald Lakes. Minerals leached from the surrounding rock cause the colour of the Lakes. The steam vents above the lake are responsible for the sulphurous smell.
You will notice the track to Otureree Hut, part of the Tongariro Northern Circuit branches off just past the lowest lake. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing track follows around the edge of Central Crater then climbs up to Blue Lake (a cold acidic lake). The lake is Tapu (sacred) and it is disrespectful to eat or drink around its shores.