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Time: 6 to 8 hr, Distance: 19.4 km one-way

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the best known New Zealand day hike set in the middle of the central North Island volcanic plateau.
Pick a good day and the scenery of Mt Tongariro and it's surroundings are incredible! However there is something mysterious and exciting about this area even if it is overcast. If you hate crowds then think again before you walk here in the middle of the high season. It's super busy and you will just be part of a marching ant trail. Attempt the Tongariro Crossing during the week if you want a slightly quieter experience or near the end of the season around March/April when the weather has settled a bit.

The walk is challenging, so good shoes and lots of water is a must. The walk is in an alpine environment and weather here can change by the minute, each season many people are caught out. See the reviews for evidence of this!

If you are a bit uncertain of taking on this beast on your own, there are plenty of guiding companies that can safely take you over the crossing. Enjoy!

NOTE - Recent notification from DOC - Jan 2017

This season we are expecting our highest ever visitor numbers to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and parking at both car parks are limited. Also the road to the car parks are unsealed and narrow.

We recommend that visitors travel with licenced transport operators from either Whakapapa, National Park Village, Turangi, Taupo and Ohakune. Traffic management will be in place to help but carparks will fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment using a shuttle is the best way to travel to and from the Tongairio Alpine Crossing.

“This summer we need visitors to use the local transport operators to make the most of their trip, enjoy the walk and don’t worry about parking” says Paul Carr, Operations Manager, Recreation and Safety, Tongariro District.

Emerald Lakes - Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Emerald Lakes - Tongariro Alpine Crossing

fleaphotos

Into the depths of Red Crater - Tongariro Crossing

Into the depths of Red Crater - Tongariro Crossing

Rosino

In the mist: South Crater Mt Tongariro

In the mist: South Crater Mt Tongariro

Rosino

How's the serenity.....? - Summit, Mt Tongariro

How's the serenity.....? - Summit, Mt Tongariro

Rosino

Contact Details

map

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Top of the world......  - Tama Lakes

Tama Lakes track - Whakapapa Village

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Close up of Silica Rapids

Silica Rapids track - Whakapapa Village

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Taranaki Falls in all thier glory

Taranaki Falls track - Whakapapa Village

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Central Crater - Northern Circuit

Tongariro Northern Circuit

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Tawhai Falls, full frontal

Tawhai Falls walk - Whakapapa Village

RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

Meads Wall, Mt Ruapehu

Mount / Mt Ruapehu - Meads Wall Walk

RuapehuOhakune

Start of the Old Coach Road

Ohakune Old Coach Road - NZ Cycle Trail

RuapehuOhakune

View of the lava flow from Lake Surprise Track.

Lake Surprise track - Ohakune

RuapehuOhakune

View of Falls from the lookout

Waitonga Falls Track

945 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 11 of 73.

Bob Treitman's avatar

Bob Treitman

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Great hike, impressive views, my only complaint is that it is just too popular/crowded. Not sure how to deal with that!

Maximilian Seitz's avatar

Maximilian Seitz

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

This publicly available track is incredibly beautifully stunning. The diversity in nature/vegetation you can see in a matter of hours is great. The 4 day walk or even 1 day walk are a must do in New Zealand. The Mt Ngauruhoe is super fun to climb, challenging but super worth it. Sticks would be recommended but if you do not have any the good ole' hands and feet will suffice. I suggest not doing it too late so you can see more.

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Carolin's avatar

Carolin

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Beautiful landscape, bus was too expensive, toilets were not very clean.

Katharina's avatar

Katharina

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing one day hike! Try to do it with good weather, I am sure you will have a much nicer view. Nice that there are some toilets provided. Only negative thing is that the companies driving you to the start of the track are quite expensive.

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Stuart's avatar

Stuart

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Spectacular. Drive past and enjoy from the highway or enjoy the walks ranging from 10 minutes to days. Well worth a stop.

Emilie Bavard's avatar

Emilie Bavard

France

Ranking: 9/10

Great walk in the forest and then the mountain, wonderful landscapes! Only bad point is that it is a one way walk and a long one (29km) and at the end you either, have someone waiting to get you back to your car or you take the shuttle which is quite expensive......

Gilbert Baptiste's avatar

Gilbert Baptiste

France

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic track across Mt Tongariro, wonderful views of the valley and the other mountains/volcanoes (including the one that inspired Mt Doom!). The arrival on top of it with the emerald lake was incredible, even more with the snow that was sill here in November!

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Menguy Thibault's avatar

Menguy Thibault

France

Ranking: 10/10

Just amazing walk, need to be prepared physically for this! Great spring waterfall, wonderfull emerald lake and blue lake! Unforgettable!

Alexie Lion's avatar

Alexie Lion

France

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing place, 8 hours of walking. It was really physical but the best I have done since 10 months in New Zealand!

Lukas Weberling 's avatar

Lukas Weberling

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

A must do in New Zealand. Spectacular views. The last 7km are a little tough.

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Cassandra Geyer's avatar

Cassandra Geyer

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

A very beautiful walk! They prepared the walking tracks very well and there are lots of signs so you don't get lost. It is a long walk though and quite exhausting, but worth it!

Sophie Rosenberg's avatar

Sophie Rosenberg

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

A 9 hour walk but a really beautiful one!!

Celina's avatar

Celina

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Very nice work, I enjoyed the nature around the track, it was a little busy (I went there at Easter weekend), the view over the lakes and the volcano was amazing!

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RuapehuTongariro / National Park Village

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