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Tongariro Alpine Crossing

HARD 232 reviews
#1 of 20 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.

2 hours ago

loved it! scree slope is hard work, pays to have a walking pole and laugh if you fall on your butt.
take lots of water.
if you take a shuttle in, often the shuttle companies will keep records of whose meant to be picked up, so if you change your plans, call them so they can mark you as safe.

hiking
14 hours ago

The discovery camp site was great with the early morning shuttle and proximity. Amazing hike.

3 days ago

This is difficult but not terrible. The weather has a huge impact on what you see. Lots of people. First part is easy, the climbs do get hard so take your time and enjoy the views. Oh and welcome to Mordor by the way. It is fun to imagine Frodo and Sam struggling through the lava fields. Last 1/2 is downhill and actually boring. Spend your time in the first half.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

We really enjoyed that hiking! It’s dramatic and beautiful! Lots of people on the trail in the morning, it gets better in the after noon we did 23 kilomètres and took our time to enjoy and have lunch half way! (8hours total) Need lots of water, sun screen and a nice lunch! Also you should have hiking poles, specially early in the morning because of muddy steep trail sections. Tongariro alpine crossing should be a must do on your bucket list!

hiking
9 days ago

6h-7h top pour cette marche. les différentes vues (parfois volcanique, parfois montagneux) sont magnifiques et valent le détour. J'ai tout simplement adorer.

13 days ago

6h à 8h pour une marche normale avec pause photos et dîner. Prévoir le transport pour pour se rendre à la randonnée. 40$/personne, vraiment trop chère, mais la rando vaut vraiment le coup. Top 3 de mes meilleurs hike.

14 days ago

MUST DO hike! incredibly beautiful. We parked in the car park and had a shuttle take us to the beginning so we could take our time...and oh boy we did! Between an inflammed tendon and bad knees we took 11hrs. The way down was brutal. But i would do it again because it wa so incredible.

hiking
15 days ago

The trail was beautiful. It took use 6 hours. We started at 7 am and it was a beautiful day. Definitely dress in layers and sunscreen. It was crowded but all hikers were nice and respectful. Super happy the rain stopped from the day before. Lots of up hills and down hills the best part was. The end through the rain forest. Reminded me of the big island in Hilo.

hiking
15 days ago

What a great hike! Very challenging and great scenery.

18 days ago

Pretty hard at first but after just a pleasure to see all this landscapes!

19 days ago

Incredible! One of the most beautiful hike we have done so far. There is everything, from Bush to rocks, sand, forest, lakes, volcanos, views, flat sections, steep sections, stairs,.... The track is very well maintained and signed.
There are many people, but don't be selfish and share this divine views with others!!!
We parked our car in Ketetahi and booked a shuttle from there. That way you can park your car as long as you want.

hiking
19 days ago

Fantastic walk. An absolute most do if your in the area. Not too tough of a walk even though rated hard. The downhill is definitely worse than the uphill as great rather tough on the knees by the end. Do the walk the way all trails suggest otherwise you will have even more elevation. Was very busy walk but did not take away from the beautiful place. I would head out at earliest possible time. Lots of company’s doing drop and collection I used Tongariro crossing shuttles and they pick up from multiple places and have timed shuttled after the walk to allow you more or less time when doing it. It took us 8.5 hours with lots of stopping and taking photographs.

23 days ago

This was a very difficult hike for this 72 year old walker. But I did make it in less than 12 hours. The hike itself is beautiful, passing through barren volcanic terrain, climbing up several volcanic ridges and up to the top of a volcano. On the other side, after a precarious descent across a scree field, you come to several beautiful lakes. Then about seven miles of descent on a long, rocky (in places), and steep (in places). This part of the hike was the hardest in many ways.

Go, though. But plan your start and ending times and make sure you have transportation arranged.

25 days ago

great hike! beautiful views all the way. going up is though, but the descent is hard as well. bring enough water, sunscreen and food with you. can be very cold. we had only 2 degrees at the start and icy parts at the top. so layers is a must.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month 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
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

No pain no gain!

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Amazing!

hiking
1 month 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.

2 months 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
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

2 months 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!!!!

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