The Tongariro Crossing is an iconic day hike, known for its mixture of lava flows, an active crater, steam vents and beautiful lakes adorned in green.
Hiking in the region is an unforgettable experience and should be part of every visitor’s itinerary. Hiking is permitted year-round; however, for optimal conditions it’s recommended from November through April.
Pick-up and drop-off locations
The Tongariro Crossing shuttle bus service provides the ideal way to experience this popular day hike. Boasting incredible volcanic landscapes as well as Maori spiritual associations, this hike also stands as the highest point on New Zealand’s Central Plateau with unrivalled views across Lake Taupo and Mt Ruapehu– including Mount Ngauruhoe – from Lake Taupo.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a long and strenuous hike that typically takes between 6 to 8 hours to complete. Hikers should start early to avoid crowds and experience this hike at their own leisurely pace. Mountain weather conditions can quickly change; therefore it is recommended that hikers check forecasts before undertaking this trek.
Many hotels and other accommodation providers in the region provide Tongariro Crossing shuttle services that they can arrange for you. In Taupo, for example, this means that you can book a shuttle at any time before 8am from any hotel or accommodation and be taken directly to the start of the track.
National Park Village’s Alpine Centre (also known as Ski Biz and Snowzone) provides shuttle transport that operates daily between 5.45am, 7.15am, 8.30am and 9.45am. To book this service at least one hour prior to departure call their office directly and make a booking reservation.
Ohakune is another ideal base for exploring the Crossing. Situated just south of the track and offering plenty of accommodation, restaurants and bars – Ohakune is also close to Turoa Ski Field making it the ideal spot in winter or for hikers wanting to trek the Whanganui Journey Great Walk.
Alternative Accommodation Providers in National Park Area
These companies can also provide equipment and clothing rentals so you have all of the gear necessary for hiking in Tongariro National Park. Furthermore, they can help plan your route, offering useful tips and guidance that ensure an excellent hiking experience.
If you’re planning a Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek, a shuttle bus service from your accommodation in Taupo or Turangi to the trailhead may be needed – Tongariro Expeditions provides such an invaluable service!
National Park Village to Ketetahi (where Tongariro Crossing hikes usually end) shuttle service runs daily from 6:45AM-6:55AM and from 1:30PM-4:30PM; they pick you up from all local hotels and hostels before dropping you off at the trailhead.
Arrive at your pickup point at least 10 minutes early so that you are prepared to board at your scheduled pickup time and don’t find yourself waiting a long time before finally receiving transportation from the bus driver. Otherwise, they may not reach you on time!
The Tongariro Crossing is one of the most beloved day hikes in New Zealand and an incredible way to experience its scenic Central Plateau landscape. However, it can also be hazardous as it crosses and over an active volcano; steep terrain covered with loose volcanic ash requires high levels of fitness in order to undertake this adventure.
As this track can be affected by volcanic unrest and adverse weather, it’s essential that visitors prepare themselves accordingly before venturing out on it. To do this, the Department of Conservation recommends checking track conditions beforehand and employing an accredited shuttle operator if available.
Professional guides offer expert knowledge of the terrain and weather, in addition to offering backup in case anything arises during your trek. Furthermore, they have equipment designed specifically to aid them on their expedition.
Tongariro Expeditions have been operating a shuttle bus service for the Tongariro Crossing for over 20 years and have gained an outstanding reputation among hikers for providing reliable, safe transport. Offering options ranging from one-way rides to return shuttles – and are the only operator licensed by the Department of Conservation!
Their staff has been specially trained to make your trip as stress-free as possible, answering any queries during the journey, as well as offering help planning your route – so that your time in New Zealand’s premier tourist spot is spent wisely.
Those planning a hike across the Tongariro Crossing must arrange transportation before and after embarking on their trek. There are shuttle bus companies offering convenient services between Tongariro Crossing and its destinations; these could be ideal if you prefer not relying solely on walking! For an enjoyable, care-free adventure!
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s premier day walks and often referred to as the “greatest day hike in the world”. This grade 6-8 trek explores an incredible volcanic landscape filled with lava flows, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes, an active crater, breathtaking views and magnificent lava landscape.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an exquisite hike that draws hikers of all ages and abilities alike, thanks to its spectacular natural beauty. Peak times – especially weekends – may become quite busy; nonetheless, this trail remains stunning walk that should not be missed!
Because of this, the track is only open from December to March; these months offer the safest and driest hiking conditions; snowmelt will reduce runoff while weather will become less unpredictable.
Tongariro Expeditions offers an exceptional guided trek experience called a Premium Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Trek that features all necessary equipment, a professional guide and transportation directly from and to the trailhead.
Alternately, you could rent your own gear and use the free public shuttle service provided by the park – this option offers more affordable travel for families or friends with limited time in the area or who need assistance walking long distances without assistance from guides.
Be mindful that parking at either end of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track is limited to 4 hours from November through April; therefore, ensure you allow enough time for both hiking and returning your car back to Ketetahi before parking up.
The Tongariro Crossing is considered one of the world’s premier day hikes, yet also poses significant risk. According to New Zealand Mountain Safety Council reports, between 2010 and 2018, 83 people needed assistance after experiencing slips, trips or falls while traversing it.
Accidents will unfortunately happen, but being informed can reduce their likelihood. Expert advice regarding terrain and weather should always be sought to keep yourself safe on a crossing.
If you’re planning on hiking the Tongariro Crossing, it is wise to arrange for a shuttle service between trailheads. Such operators possess all of the required safety knowledge, offering back up should anything go amiss during your adventure.
Selecting the ideal service is essential, and searching out an established provider that has years of experience can help immensely. Such companies know all of the risks involved with mountain hiking.
One important consideration when selecting a shuttle bus company is their track record in assisting people off of Tongariro Crossing. According to New Zealand Mountain Safety Council reports, there were 83 rescues on this trail over the past five years alone; therefore it would be prudent to select an established service.
Finally, your shuttle bus company should offer maps and weather updates. This can be especially beneficial as poor conditions could impede your plans to complete the Tongariro Crossing hike.
Park and Ride shuttle services that offer roundtrip shuttles to the Tongariro Crossing are an excellent way to tackle it while leaving plenty of time for relaxing after hiking the journey. There is usually one available every hour so that there is always one convenient pick-up point suited to you; additionally, these Park and Ride services generally have cheaper rates than hiring your own car.https://www.youtube.com/embed/vM1wVAoqDu8