Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Described by many as “The best one-day walk in New Zealand, and one of the best in the world”
This amazing 19.4km walk will take you through fascinating lunar-lake landscape amongst active volcanoes, mountain springs, craters and lava flows.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing track winds up the Mangatepopo Valley to the saddle between Mt Tongariro and Mt Nagauruhoe. It climbs to Red Crater (1886m), then drops down to the Emerald and Blue Lakes. The track then descends around the northern slope of Tongariro, meandering to the Ketetahi Hut.
The full walk is moderately challenging and it will take the average person about 5-8 hours to complete depending on fitness, allowing time for photos. Waking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a truly unique experience not to be missed!
Join a guided trip to experience the Tongariro Alpine Crossing during winter. Local experienced guides operate daily, weather permitting and will make sure you are fully prepared.
What to take
Before you start the track it is recommended you have the following:
- 1.5L water (minimum)
- Wind-breaker jacket
- 2 warm tops
- Hiking boots / shoes
- Hat or Cap
You may also benefit by taking:
- Spare pair of socks
- Sticking plasters
- Cell phone
- Walking pole(s)
- Extra energy snacks eg chocolate, nuts, trail mix or the like.
Be prepared for anything as the weather in the Tongariro National Park can be extremely changeable. In the summer months, you can expect temperatures from 5° C to 35° C, and in winter from about -10° C to 10° C.
The weather conditions are highly variable and impact significantly on your safety. Department of Conservation (DOC) has determined the weather criteria which all Transport Providers are advised to adhere to.
Metservice weather forecast is used as the benchmark to make decisions as to whether trips should take place.
There is no all day parking at the Mangatepopo car park (start of track), there is a four-hour parking limit that will be enforced with clamping or towing of cars, vans and camper vans. Ketetahi end of track has limited parking and will have restricted parking in places and single lane traffic.
We recommend that you book a shuttle service.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is within the Tongariro National Park, a UNSECO Dual World Heritage Park for both natural and cultural values and the first in the world to receive associative cultural World Heritage status.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is within the role of Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Please respect the local Iwi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and help educate visitors that the peaks and lakes are sacred.
The alpine environment is a fragile ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to keep to the track/ poled route.
It is not acceptable to use nature as a toilet. Visitors are encouraged to use toilets and take their own toilet paper. In New Zealand it is offensive to defecate on or off the track and is a human health hazard. A map of toilets along the hike will be located at the start of the hike.
It is illegal to fly drones or walk your dogs in the Tongariro National Park. Please leave drones and dogs at home.
There are a number of local transport operators providing a variety of services to and from the Tongariro Alpine Crossing throughout the Summer freedom walking season.
Our preferred local shuttle operators will pick you up and return you to our doorstep. They are committed to offering a personal service to our guests with a wealth of local knowledge and advice to ensure that you have the best experience possible.
Bookings are essential and can be booked with your accommodation.
- Pick up and return service from The Crossing Lodge.
- Departure time 6.45am. Departure times 8am and 5.30am available on request for groups of 4 or more, subject to availability.
- Transport to the Mangetepopo carpark to start the track and pick up from the Ketetahi Carpark at the finish of the track.
- Book with your accommodation, or you can independently make arrangements at your own convenience.
- Bookings are essential, and need to be done no later than 7.30 pm of the evening before.
- If the transport service is cancelled due to bad weather you will be refunded the transport portion of your booking less any applicable admin fees.
This service is strictly weather dependent. With several weather factors contributing to the safety of this track, we rely on the knowledge and experience of the transport provider and the guidelines issued by Department of Conservation to ensure your safety.
The Shuttle driver will go through everything you need to know including the pick up times for the day, much of this is safety related so please pay attention.
For 2 nights accommodation with transport book our Summer Crossing Package available November – April, weather conditions permitting.
- 2 Nights Accommodation and Transport
- Available on all room types excluding camping
- Available during the summer freedom walking (non-guided) season