Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Follow one of the world’s most famous trails through a World Heritage landscape of volcanoes and colourful lakes. 3 days, 2 nights.

  • New Zealand
  • October
  • Auckland International Airport, Auckland (AKL)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the most famous and beautiful treks in the world. Passing through a landscape of steam vents, mineral-hued lakes, and volcanic craters, the trail takes you across the National Park in one long day of hiking. You’ll stay the night in a park hut at the far end of the trail, then hike a different route back to civilization the next day. Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 2 days of guided hiking in Tongariro National Park
  • 2 nights of accommodation in park lodges or huts
  • All meals
  • All hiking equipment
  • Professional, local, experienced mountain guides
  • Private airport transfers

Perfect for:
This is an excellent trip for active travellers who want to hike a world-class trail in one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. Moderate level of fitness required.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Auckland
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 16.

Please note, if there are not 6 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

No previous experience or skill is needed. You just need a moderate level of fitness to hike for up to 8 hours at a time.

Your guides will prepare delicious New Zealand backcountry food—and lots of it. Foods include local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, rice, New Zealand beef, pancakes, etc.

Absolutely, just let us know at booking.

Spring and fall temperatures in the Tongariro area range from 11 – 18 °C, though it cools off more at night.

In summer the temperatures increase to 18 – 20 °C during the day, and it’s sunny more than half the days each month.

Note that you’ll be hiking in the alpine, so weather conditions can change suddenly.

Pack all your own personal hiking clothing and gear, including:

  • Sturdy, broken in hiking boots or shoes
  • Hiking socks
  • Light-weight, quick-drying shirt and trousers
  • Warm sweater or jacket
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat and gloves
  • Head torch
  • Small backpack
  • Trekking poles
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
  • Camera

If you’re missing some of that gear, your host can provide you with:

  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece trousers and top
  • Hat and gloves
  • Trekking poles
  • Backpack

Start point?
Your host will meet you at the Auckland Airport. Please schedule your flight to arrive at or before 15:40. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at the Auckland Airport on Sunday evening. Please schedule your flight to depart no earlier than 19:30. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Auckland Airport (AKL) is served by frequent, inexpensive flights from Australia, including direct flights on Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Qantas. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above so you don’t miss the included transfers.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

Location

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Tongariro National Park protects one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring landscapes on Earth. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1990 for its “outstanding natural value”, and again in 1993 for the “spiritual and cultural value of the landscape”.

From rainbow-hued volcanic craters to emerald-coloured lakes, you’ll be amazed every step of the way. The area includes three prominent volcanic peaks: Mt. Ruapehu (2797m), Mt. Tongariro (1978m) and Mt. Ngauruhoe (2291m).

Other natural features on the hike include the ever-changing Mangatepopo Valley with its soda springs and tenacious lichens; the vibrant Red Crater on Mt. Tongariro; the aptly named Emerald and Blue Lakes, coloured by minerals that have leached into the water; and the steam vents of the Te Maari craters.

Start point?
Your host will meet you at the Auckland Airport. Please schedule your flight to arrive at or before 15:40. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
You will be dropped off at the Auckland Airport on Sunday evening. Please schedule your flight to depart no earlier than 19:30. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Auckland Airport (AKL) is served by frequent, inexpensive flights from Australia, including direct flights on Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Qantas. You can get any flights that suit you, but make sure they fit the times above so you don’t miss the included transfers.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival and BBQ dinner

Your host will pick you up at the Auckland Airport in the afternoon and drive you to Tongariro (4 hours).

Along the way you’ll stop on the banks of the Whanganui River for a BBQ dinner.

Arrive in Whakapapa/National Park Village, receive your gear for the hike, and settle into a local lodge for the night.

Day 2: Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Wake up for an early breakfast, then hit the trail.

You’ll trek across the southern edge of Tongariro National Park from west to east, passing remarkable volcanic features along the way, like soda springs, steam vents and red-hued volcanic craters.

Your knowledgeable guide will help you understand the processes that formed the landscape, and tell you stories about the area’s cultural and spiritual importance.

Hike beside Mt. Ngauruhoe, the filming location for Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies, and skirt along the summit crater of Mt. Tongariro.

The trek finishes at the Oturere Hut. Enjoy a delicious meal cooked by your guides, then spend some time stargazing before heading to bed for well-deserved sleep.

6 - 8 hours of walking

Day 3: Return hike and departure

Start your hike in time to watch the sunrise over the eastern side of the park.

You’ll trek to the finishing point of the Alpine Crossing at the Ketetahi carpark, skirting the north side of the mountain, passing Blue Lake, the Te Maari craters and the Ketetahi springs, and stopping for lunch along the way.

Arrive in the village around 14:00. Grab a shower and a snack, then drive back to the airport to catch your flight home.

6 – 8 hours of walking

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

You’ll spend the first night at the Ski Haus hostel in Whakapapa/National Park Village. The hostel caters specifically to Tongariro hikers. Facilities include free wifi and a spacious lounge with a fireplace.

You’ll stay the second night at the Oturere Hut operated by the Department of Conservation. The hut is located in the alpine on the east side of the mountain with incredible volcano views. There are basic toilets, a kitchen, 26 bunk beds, and heating.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

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