"Tongariro!" Top 5 Page for this destination Tongariro National Park by allikat

Tongariro National Park Travel Guide: 82 reviews and 222 photos

Doing the Tongariro Crossing.

I had wanted to do the Tongariro Crossing for a long time, but I hadn't really known what to expect. Well at last, I have done it - twice! The first time back in 2005 (my tip photos are mostly from that trek) and again in 2008. And, oh my word, what an amazing experience! Crossing vast volcanic plateaus, peering over steep ridges into a massive volcanic crater and down onto jewel coloured lakes. Seeing the snow capped peak of Mount Taranaki above the clouds far in the distance. Looking back and realising the expanse of black rock I have just walked past is actually a lava flow that has oozed through the crater's plug before running out of 'oomph', cooling and solidifying.

The Tongariro Crossing is considered to be New Zealand's best one day hike and among the best one day hikes anywhere in the world. However, although it is a challenging hike, it is not technical, nor particularly difficult. If you enjoy a reasonable level of fitness, then you can make the Crossing.

It is described as taking, on average, 7/8 hours. I have heard of people doing it in less. It took me and the first group I was with (all keen trampers) a full 10 hours to do on a day of perfect weather. This included a leisurely lunch by the Emerald Lakes, and many, many photo stops. My more recent trek took 8 hours and we were on the mountain for a slightly later start Although I would just have been repeating my photo opportunities I really wished I could have taken my time like before.

Speaking of weather, remember that this is a mountain, all 6,487ft of it (1,978m) and as such, you could experience pretty much any type of weather at any time of the year, and that conditions can change very rapidly. We were fortunate, and had clear blue skies all day. However, it was not much above freezing when we started out at 6.30am, we had glorious sunshine and bitter winds on the ridges, and ended up in shorts and tee shirts on the final descent. So, be prepared in terms of clothing, footwear, food and water.

A gift for us all....

The Tongariro National Park is the first National Park anywherein the world that was gifted to the nation by its indiginous people. In 1887, Te Heuheu Tukino IV, the Paramount Chief of the Tuwharetoa people, gave the land as a means of securing and protecting the area. I wonder if he ever realised that so many people would enjoy these stunning surroundings? The Crossings accessibility and popularity means that at peak times as many as 2,000 people a day may be doing the crossing with you!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The incredible experience of hiking across an active volcanic range!
  • Cons:Is the physical effort a con? I think not. Maybe the numbers of walkers on busy weekends...
  • In a nutshell:What an incredible day! Tough going but worth every step. I want to do it again!!
  • Last visit to Tongariro National Park: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Apr 10, 2008
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Reviews (14)

Comments (22)

  • besal's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2008 at 2:25 AM

    Great off the beaten path tip.

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2007 at 2:09 PM

    Your life is full of adventures, and New ZEaland is a good source of inspiration!;)

  • alucas's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM

    What incredible landscape ! Just seen the Emerald Lakes on the HP !

  • elucas's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2006 at 3:44 PM

    A lovely write up. Sounds a great place to visit.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 3:55 AM

    what a great page, your writing just goes on getting better and better

  • Ben-UK's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2006 at 5:10 AM

    This hike sounds like a fantastic experience -- great photos you've taken as well -- I especially like the Emerald Lakes -- excellent page, thank you.

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2006 at 12:30 AM

    What stunning landscape, and great pics, thanks for sharing! BTW The Cure's 'Kiss Me x 3" is one of my favourite albums, gonna play it now :) greetings from Bulgaria

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2006 at 3:26 PM

    Tongariro crossing is something I still really want to do!!! Thanks for the nice work here!

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2006 at 8:11 AM

    You pages are helping me to pla my next tripto NZ Thank you

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2006 at 1:21 PM

    Ah, the memories!! Is that me lying on the ground at the end of the track waiting for the bus hahahaha. Nice springs tho. :-)


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