Tongariro Alpine Crossing

HARD 176 reviews
#1 of 19 trails in

Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.5 kilometer heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Owhango, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
19.5 km
ELEVATION GAIN
820 m
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

lake

hot springs

partially paved

views

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

To experience what many people call the "World's Greatest Day Hike" you will need no permits, however, transportation arrangements must be made for both ends of the hike, so make sure you do some planning! You must also be mindful of shuttle pick-up times if you decide to summit Mt. Tongariro or Mt. Ngauruhoe (both cannot be done within the same day). There are sections of the hike that are considered active volcano areas, and the trail has optional side trips to Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe (famously known as 'Mt Doom' in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) as well as passing Mount Ruapehu.

hiking
3 days ago

Bring lots of water and sunscreen. We had great weather but the trail is exposed for the majority. Lots of diversity in the landscape and lots to look at along the way. It’s well maintained and well marked. Wear sturdy boots and bring poles is you have them - those came in handy on the descend from Red Crater. And be prepared for what seems like a never ending descend on the back end. It’s the hardest part!

recorded Tongariro Alpine Crossing

hiking
4 days ago

Trail is a freeway compared to trails in Washington state. Miles of trail mat. Which is very nice on the feet. Coming off the top you have a 350foot scree slide down the trail

no shade
7 days ago

Excellent hike. The weather held and I had nothing but sunshine compared to the people who had sleet and rain the previous day. The track is very easy to follow and stay on. This could be done in the evening with a headlamp as well. Guardian of the citadel indeed.

7 days ago

great hike did it in about 6 hours a ok hiker from Colorado great views and awesome time

hiking
no shade
scramble
11 days ago

Not for faint of heart! But SOOO worth it! Hike through many varying landscapes. We thought “Mt Doom” was cool... BUT best yet to come! Bring layers.. windy, sunny, cool, windy... hike up up up... down... up up....BE PREPARED mentally and physically! Bring 2l water.
Careful onthe descent to lakes; lots of wipeouts. Its NOT easy! Great day had by all despite “jello” legs at end of day.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
11 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

No pain no gain!

hiking
15 days ago

Did this Jan ‘19 and still in awe of the experience just amazing. The views and surroundings just breathtaking.

22 days ago

Amazing!

hiking
28 days ago

An awesome hike, with some of the most beautiful views the North Island has to offer. If you have time, make a detour and scramble up the side of Mount Doom an extra 5km or 90 minutes). Pretty satisfying to climb an active volcano, and obtain some of the best views around.

Note though that the trail is packed with people and not my idea of ‘getting out into nature’. Hence, only the 4 star rating.

1 month ago

Could have been the most beautiful track in NZ and maybe it was few years back when there wasn't proper highway crowded with people walking literally in a queue, some of them playing loud music from teir backpeckers. The lakes in surrunding of people, it spoils the experience quite a lot for me...
The last 8km is quite long if i had new that i would probably didn't pay $35 for shuttle and just go to the lakes and back. (The price is quite unbelivable for such schuttle, i could go 500km by train for this price in Europe:-D
Anyhow i was happy i saw the Mordor.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

One of the most amazing hikes I have ever done! Incredible views all along the way. The lakes are very beautiful! Took my time to stop for eating some snacks and take a lot of pictures and it was about 6-7h hiking. Highly recommend it!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! Tough for the first hard and descent was a little tricky.

1 month ago

Amazing!! No other words describe it. Such a unique hike!! We stayed at the Discovery Lodge and took the 4:50am shuttle and it was worth it! We got ahead of everyone on the trail and had it all to ourselves! Our shuttle driver warned us that there could be “gale force winds” and to turn back if it was too risky. The winds were ridiculous, but we were up for the challenge! At times we were getting pelted with pebbles! Our wind/rain jackets performed so well! Make sure to wear a good one (with a hood is a must). Took us ~5 hours to hike 12.6 miles. You must do this hike!!!!

walking
1 month ago

Very nice views, but strong wind.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike, to avoid crowds try and start as early as possible

1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes of my life! Highly recommended!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! As if you're on Mars. Reminded me of Haleakala in Hawaii. Definitely recommend having a bus drop you off on the first bus. We used Discovery Lodge and left with them at 4:50am. Early, but worth beating the many crowds that come later.

1 month ago

4 times in one year, smashing it! great track, awesome views. Take your rubbish with you please :)

hiking
1 month ago

I imagine it was a beautiful hike when there is nice weather. We started the hike knowing that it was going to be windy and rainy, but we got to the top and there were 50-60kph winds and sideways rain. Everyone on the hike was soaked. Thankfully there was a hut after the halfway point to escape the incline to weather for a bit. This is a great hike though, not too difficult when there isn’t bad weather.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible hike through an active volcanic area. Magnificent colours in the rocks, lakes, and splendid far reaching views. The classic volcano shape was breathtaking especially from the flat dry lakes half way up. We took 5 and a half hours to do the walk from the drop off point back to our car. Book in advance with one of the many operators

hiking
2 months ago

amazing hike one of these best ever

2 months ago

Amazing! We went with discovery lodge and so worth it! We left at 5 in the morning and we rented their wind jackets. If you didn’t bring your own wind and rain proof (no soft shell) jacket rent them here, we were so happy with them on top of the mountain! Discover is the first bus to arrive so you have to mountain to yourself. We did it it end of November. There where people on the track but not so many and not in the morning. I love hiking but I’m not the most fit person. I had a hard time climbing those stairs and was a little frightened climbing the last part because it was fairly windy but what a view! If you don’t get a good view straight ahead, hang around a little bit it can clear up quick. Totally worth it, best thing we did in New Zealand (and we did wine tastings mind you ;)

hiking
2 months ago

Super nice Track and we had perfekt weather. Unfurtunate to crowded for our taste.

2 months ago

Great hike. Bus company postponed us two days due to weather but made it today. Pretty windy up top amazing views.

2 months ago

Definitely worth it! It took us 7 hours . Check the weather before you go. Sunny days are the best but it’s still beautiful no matter what . It was cloudy when I went and it rained but it was still unforgettable.

2 months ago

Just did this hike today . Weather was just fine, barely any rain, however clouds inhibited some of our views. Overall . Totally worth it. This was on my bucket list- emerald lakes were amazing ! My husband and I started the hike 7:30 and made it back just in time to get picked up by our 1:00 bus. We did have to start walking pretty fast at the last hut in order to make up for time lost staring at the lakes

hiking
2 months ago

This is the best hike I’ve ever done, I recommend starting around 6:30 AM. Constant uphill for 2 1/2 hours then it is amazing. My girlfriend and I brought 4 sandwiches, 4 bottles of water, and some granola bars. We stopped to use the restroom and sat down for about 10 minutes to have a sandwich and finished this hike at 1 PM. Don’t miss the chance for this hike.

2 months ago

I was physically under prepared but it was a beautiful and amazing experience. Make sure you prepare correctly !

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