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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

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

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Meads Wall, Mt Ruapehu

Mount / Mt Ruapehu - Meads Wall Walk

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Start of the Old Coach Road

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View of Falls from the lookout

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813 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 12 of 63.

Maxima Buisan's avatar

Maxima Buisan

Spain

Ranking: 8/10

A wonderful walk with amazing views. The trail was very well preserved.

Mikkel Palleson's avatar

Mikkel Palleson

Denmark

Ranking: 8/10

The great walk is so beautiful and a must see in New Zealand. The walk is free and the tracks very well kept.

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Mikael Persson's avatar

Mikael Persson

Sweden

Ranking: 8/10

The hike was really good! Many good views of high mountains, the only thing that was bad was the shuttle bus, it was really expensive at $35 per person.

Melissa Fuster's avatar

Melissa Fuster

France

Ranking: 10/10

A wonderful walk over volcanoes and blue lakes, we have never seen such an amazing landscape like that. Just......no words. Absolutely 'fantastique'.

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Lea and Emmanuel's avatar

Lea and Emmanuel

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent, well maintained paths, easy to walk, discovered the changing landscape on the way. The colour of the lakes is incredibly blue!

Philipp Schwanbeck's avatar

Philipp Schwanbeck

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Go there if you want to lose yourself spending the whole day walking in a surreal surrounding formed by lava. The red crater was my persona highlight, it's colours impressed me much.

Susi's avatar

Susi

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Really nice walk for a day! Incredible countryside - never seen such colours in lakes or volcanoes, really great and it is free!

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Levi's avatar

Levi

Australia

Ranking: 7/10

Sights were amazing, however, the weather was very dangerous. People made out like 60kph winds were nothing - they weren't.

Tilman's avatar

Tilman

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

It was very exhausting but the view was priceless, very recommendable, do not forget gloves.

Anna-Lisa Funk's avatar

Anna-Lisa Funk

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent hike, not that strenuous as expected, nice view of the Crater and Emerald Lakes. However, do not do it during bad weather.

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Robin Lakner's avatar

Robin Lakner

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Very nice hike with some excellent views and a kind of 'unreal' landscape. The weather up there could be very tough so be well prepared.

Jonas's avatar

Jonas

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Hard to get up the mountains but great 360 degree view from the top.

Chiara's avatar

Chiara

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Great one day trip - a must do for all backpackers. Awesome view from Mt Doom, but extremely exhausting.

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