For those up for a day trail walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a must do in the Tongariro National Park. Breathe the fresh mountain air and enjoy the clear waters along the trail in this dual National Heritage area.
The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe,Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.
This challenging trek begins at 1120 m, winding up the Mangatepopo Valley to the saddle between Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, through South Crater before climbing again to Red Crater, the highest point on the crossing at 1886 m. The descent is on a volcanic rock scree track to the vivid Emerald Lakes, known as Nga Rotopounamu (greenstone-hued lakes). After passing Blue Lake, also known as Te Wai-whakaata-o-te-Rangihiroa (Rangihiroa’s mirror), the track sidles around the northern slope of Tongariro, then descends in a zigzag track past Ketetahi Shelter and down to the roadend.
The 19.4-kilometre trek is not for the faint-hearted as the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect. Trekkers are advised to fully prepare for the elements and always have transport to and from the trail organised.
Things to think of before you go are:
- Check the Tongariro National Park weather forecast before you go.
- Tell someone of your plans.
- Check current conditions of the track and facilities.
- Read about the track or route you want to do, and know what type of terrain and any hazards to expect.
- Be properly equipped with appropriate clothing, footwear, water and sufficient high energy food.
For more information and to download a map visit Department of Conservation.
For important safety information and more on Tongariro Alpine Crossing check out these links and video:
Seasonal only – in summer months Skotel Alpine Resort offers return shuttles from the door step to the starting point of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, that you can book on arrival. (THIS IS SEASONAL ONLY) – Check with our friendly staff for information.
During the winter months guided tours can be arranged with Adrift Outdoors and Adventure Outdoors.