One of the world’s most famous one-day walks. Face the challenge, feast on the adventure and treat yourself to a truly unique and unforgettable experience in one of New Zealand’s most picturesque and inspiring natural environments.
TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING REPORT
Thursday 23rd January, 2020
Morning cloud then fine spells, and isolated afternoon or evening showers. South-Westerlies 20km/h at 6am, increasing to 25km/h by the afternoon. Wind chill temp 13°C at 6am, and getting up to 14°C by midday at Red Crater. Another good day out on The Crossing, might get a little bit wet in the afternoon but nothing a waterproof jacket can’t handle.
The Crossing conditions are now in summer conditions and the track is mostly good under foot. There are some areas where care needs to be taken to avoid a slipping accident causing grazing or sprains. Weather conditions in all New Zealand mountains are very changeable. Be prepared to experience low visibility, high winds and unexpected rain. The weather variability means you MUST HAVE good outdoor clothing to keep you comfortable and safe and an understanding of what the weather will be like in front of you. If you’re unsure book a guided tour with Adrift Tongariro Guiding who specialise in guiding those who have little to no hiking or on-mountain experience. They’ll ensure you’ve got all the correct gear needed for the day and are dressed to the conditions.
Follow Tongariro Alpine Crossing conditions anytime by clicking on the ‘TAC Tab’ at skifmnetwork.co.nz
‘Get In the Know Before You Go’ –
On your Tongariro trip you will need; hiking boots, 1 light top and 2 warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are all really good layers), walking trousers as well as a waterproof raincoat. Take a backpack per person with 1-2litres of water, food, personal meds (blister protection, asthma inhaler etc), sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat. The Adrift Guides carry full emergency medical and safety gear, plus when they meet you at the new Adrift shop, 53 Carroll Street, National Park Village, they will make sure you have all the correct clothing and boots for the day. Don’t go without an expert, all Adrift Guides are fully qualified… and a big thanks to them for this interpreted forecast.
New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site. The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world.
Many who complete the 19.4-kilometre journey will tell you the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect.
Prepare for the elements. Ensure transport is arranged to drop you at the beginning of the track and pick you up at the end of the day.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is very significant to the local Iwi. Find out more here
Reasons to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Wanting to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but have some doubts about your fitness, track difficulty or time it takes? Known as the best day walk in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is well worth the journey. By Simeon Visser
Here’s 7 reasons why you should attempt the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
1. Amazing landscape:
You will walk through beautiful volcanic landscape with many rocks, hills and mountains. You can smell sulphur and you come across big and small lakes, trees and little streams of water.
2. Diverse vegetation:
You will see great diversity in vegetation with many plants, bushes and trees as well as grass, moss and flowers. I was really amazed by how frequently the rocks and the surrounding vegetation changes while hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing! I hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing walk in summer and I imagine a lot of the landscape to be covered by snow and ice however.
3. It can be done
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a full day hike that can take six to eight hours to complete. Is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hard? Well, many have gone before you and they have successfully completed the track. In any case do not underestimate it and make sure you prepare properly. You will need to be fit to complete the track as even in summer (when there is no snow and ice) there are some challenging steep parts.
You will need warm clothing and in winter you will need proper equipment to face the snow and ice. In winter you will also be accompanied by a guide for safety reasons. I hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with little previous hiking experience but I am used to walking several kilometers daily when exploring a region or city.
It really depends on your fitness: some found it easy whereas others went to bed right away upon arriving in their accommodation. If the main track of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track is not enough you can also climb Mount Tongariro or Mount Ngauruhoe along the way.
4. It takes just one day
You will be back the same day which makes it easier to plan in your travel schedule than hikes that span multiple days, including overnight accommodation. The required time is winter is expected to be seven to eight hours although in summer it can be done in around six hours.
5. It is easy to get there
The start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is in the Tongariro National Park and there are several companies that can take you there. They can also hire you the necessary equipment or sell you other necessities, such as water.
6. It is well worth the money
Sometimes you come across activities that turn out not to be worthy the money but in my opinion, it is hard to be disappointed by the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing itself is free but it costs some money to be taken to the hiking track and to hire the equipment (if needed). The cost of getting to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for me was NZ$55 dollar with Tongariro Expeditions NZ.
7. You have never seen anything like this!
I am sure you have seen the stunning photos of the Emerald Lakes, the Blue Lake and Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. There are many nice photo opportunities along the way and they are all combined into one nice hiking trail.
Fans of the film trilogy The Lord of the Rings may also want to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing to see Mount Ngauruhoe or Mount Doom as it is also known. New Zealand is known for its landscape and among the green valleys and snowy mountains, this is a great opportunity to walk through rough landscape that has been shaped by volcanic activity.