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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 12 of 73.

Jana Ebelina's avatar

Jana Ebelina

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

I never hiked on a volcano in my life before. The view from the top was amazing.

Clara Bertomeu's avatar

Clara Bertomeu

Ranking: 9/10

One of the most famous walks. First time I walked that long!! Beautiful view, lake, crater etc. Sun was shining! At the end I was so exhausted but so proud of myself!

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Lukas Boller's avatar

Lukas Boller

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful hike, very scenic.

Laura Constans's avatar

Laura Constans

France

Ranking: 10/10

There are a lot of amazing landscapes!! Just perfect, until not it is the best walking track for me!!

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Benjamin Schyler's avatar

Benjamin Schyler

France

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing crossing. Wonderful landscape.

Sebastian's avatar

Sebastian

Denmark

Ranking: 6/10

Super crowded and almost paved track. We went for a lot of other walks in the park that were far nicer.

Felicity Ford's avatar

Felicity Ford

England

Ranking: 10/10

Booked a return shuttle from Taupo with Tongariro Expeditions. Excellent service and the hike was simply breathtaking in every sense.

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Kristal Lavender's avatar

Kristal Lavender

United States

Ranking: 7/10

So many people! I got there without bus reservations so hiked half way to the Red Crater and then turned around. I recommend starting later (after 11 or 12) after all the others who are hiking the whole thing have passed through.

Benjamin Leboucq's avatar

Benjamin Leboucq

France

Ranking: 8/10

Lots of different landscapes and no mans land. Awesome lakes (Emerald Lake).

Katharina Schick's avatar

Katharina Schick

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Everybody has to do this Crossing! Only the end is a bit too long! Beautiful lakes!

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Laerke Soee's avatar

Laerke Soee

Denmark

Ranking: 10/10

My best experience in the North Island. I totally fell in love with the nature in New Zealand during this hike. Remember to bring good hiking boots, water and sunscreen, you really should go it is amazing!!

Daniel Weber's avatar

Daniel Weber

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing views and landscape. Best thing was to climb the Mt Doom.

Milan Maiwald's avatar

Milan Maiwald

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing!! Some challenging climbs even without Mt Doom. Met a lot of nice hikers and had some of the best views.

Similar to…

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