Voted one of the world's top 10 single day walks, the Tongariro Crossing is one thing you must do while in New Zealand. The oldest national park and world heritage site, the Tongariro Crossing is rich both in culture and dramatic natural scenery. Including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu it's easy to see why this walk is classed as one of the best hikes in New Zealand.
The most popular way to start the Tongariro Crossing is from Mangatepopo to Ketetahi, as the Mangatepopo end is at a higher altitude and requires less climbing, by the end of 7 hours you will be thankful of this! The crossing is a one-way trek, which starts on the west side of Mount Tongariro and finishes on the north side. You can book a shuttle to take you from the carpark in Ketetahi to drop you at the start in Mangatepopo, so ultimately you are walking back to your car, which makes it easy to leave after the walk without having to wait around for the shuttle. The track starts with a low descent until you reach the foot of the steep Tongariro saddle, after the climb you descend and ascend into different craters passing the Emerald Lakes and along the Blue Lake. Finally the last 2 hours involve a long descent down the northern side of the volcano, passing Ketetahi Hot Springs.
The climbs are steep and the weather can be unpredictable, the 19.4 km journey will have you feeling like hobbits Frodo and Sam on a journey of great importance by it's completion. Preparation for the elements is essential, it is important that you have the following :
There are plenty of options for doing the walk - if you want to do it within a walking group, have a personalised tour guide walk with you or simply do it on your own. It is advisable to check the weather report beforehand to make sure the roads or the track isn't closed.
Visit Detour activities for more fun experiences you can add onto your trip.