It is the second eruption on the mountain this year; an eruption on August 6 was the first on Tongariro for more than 100 years reports

Teacher Lomi Schaumkel said they were near the Katetahi hot springs when eruption began.

‘‘We were right up there next to it. It was just amazing. It was pretty scary from where we were and it just looked absolutely spectacular, the ash that came out. It really did look like one of those atom bomb explosions, and it made a rumbling sound.’’

Nearby highways were closed as a precaution, and those living in the area were advised to stay inside with doors and windows sealed, as there would be light ashfall.

Resident Clint Green said ash rocketed about two kilometres into the air.

“It was pretty spectacular. All of a sudden a towering black plume just began erupting very quickly, skyrocketing up,” he said.

The mountain was part of the set used to represent Mordor in “The Lord of the Rings” movies.

New Zealand lies on the Pacific’s so-called “Ring of Fire” and is a hotspot for volcanic and seismic activity.

Watch the video on the NZ One News site here 

Image via Getty