"Tongariro Crossing - The Best One Day Walk" Tongariro National Park by Dodo22
Tongariro National Park Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 213 photos
The Tongariro Crossing has been described as the best one day walk in the world. You have to do it before you decide if it is or not. I have done it twice, once as the one day walk and previously as part of a 4-5 day tramp around Tongariro (1967m) Ruapehu (2797m) and Ngauruhoe (2287m).
The Tongariro Crossing starts as a gentle walk up the Mangatepopo Valley and then moves into a steep climb to the saddle between the active Volcanoes of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, across the South Crater and finally climbing up to Red Crater, the highest point (1886m) on the track. Then the track descends down to the Emerald Lakes (a group of water filled explosion craters), over Central Crater to the Blue Lake (an old vent) sidling around North Crater past the Ketetahi Hut and the Ketetahi Hot Springs down through the native forest to the car park.
I have done it whilst the weather was very poor – cold, wet and white out conditions – trying to get across the ridge it was on hands and knees!!! So check the weather before setting out and make sure you take lots of warm and weather proof clothes. We started off in cloudy weather, in the middle had every possible piece of clothing and headgear on and ended up in lovely sunshine on the downwards track in shorts and t-shirts (all in the space of 8 hours). Go figure!!!
For the most part it is not a difficult or especially long walk, although one section is quite strenuous. It is only 30 mins uphill (if you are fit) then walking through the South Crater and then the climb up onto the Red Crater top with the Tongariro Summit turn off. Then from there it is all downhill to Ketetahi Hut.
The trip across the South Crater on a fine day is a marvellous sight. The trip has awesome views of craters, the Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake. The track gives you opportunities at certain points where you can do optional side trips that are worth every minute. These options include such things as climbing Ngauruhoe, (only for the very fit as it’s scree slopes – I elected to take a rest) or perhaps detouring over to Soda Springs,
Two hours before the track end, you will reach the Ketetahi Hut, here you are able to stop for lunch and move on or if you are doing the walk as part of a longer walk you can spend a night. Then if you are lucky enough to have experienced a fine day the sunset is well worth the effort. From here is it a simple walk down to the car park and then a wait for your transport.
A comfortable back pack is always essential. If you are going for the day only, a day pack in which to carry clothing,... more travel advice
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