Tongariro Alpine Crossing

HARD 299 reviews
#1 of 22 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

trail running

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
4 days ago

Fantastic if you love a good fight! I went in fog and light rain in May, but it was still doable in 5,5hours with one 20min break

hiking
5 days ago

Best hike ever!

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

Best experience I had in New Zealand. Tough, but doable!

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Amazing day hike. I just did an out and back from the Mangatepopo parking lot to the blue lake. Solid hike, but then I decided to also hike up Mount Doom. That was hard and I thought about turning back a couple times, but made it up for some fantastic views.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the toughest and most memorable day hikes I have ever done. I don't do overnike thru hikes so this was perfect for me. Started in reverse it seemed from north end to the west end as most people were walking the opposite direction. It's exhausting much of the way to the crater lakes but the killer part was the steep gravel "stairway" to the actual highest point of the crossing. The views are killer amazing though. Didn't arrange for transport but hitched a ride with some friendly chinese folks with a van. So lucky. Highly recommended hike :D (Hiked in October 2017. Climate was cool and happened to have a nice clear sky day)

hiking
1 month ago

What a great walk, we had all temperatures, from T-shirt to hoodie and jacket. Really a nice and impressive hike

hiking
2 months ago

Stunning hike! This was the highlight of our three week trip to NZ. The downhill sections ends up being the most challenging as it is unrelenting but the incredible views more than make up for the effort. I can't recommend this hike enough! Good to keep in mind that the bathrooms at the top of the hike are removed in the winter months so make sure you use the last outpost at Devil's staircase.

2 months ago

Legendary view! Make sure you pick a sunny/cloudy day with no strong winds.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful and challenging

2 months ago

The trail starts and ends in a relatively boring fashion. But that is made up for it by the middle section, where the views are spectacular. The only remotely challenging section on the trail on a clear day is the downhill after red crater, towards the lakes. The rest is exceptionally easy, including the uphill sections. They are short and not as steep as the hike profiles suggest. The downhill gradient after emerald lake is not steep or challenging enough in terms of terrain, to necessitate the need for poles. On a clear day, easily doable in 3.5 hours without many breaks or stops for photos.

hiking
2 months ago

Great day and a great hike. Beautiful 360 degree views. We parked at the Ketetahi end and took a shuttle to the Mangatepopo side. It was a calm clear day and the views were amazing. There was a little bit of mud and ice at the higher elevations. Highly recommend as a must do if in New Zealand.

2 months ago

The weather was so good that day and the sky is clear so that you can see all the mountains. The crossing is long and the descent is the hardest part, but the track is in a very good condition!

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely a must do when in the north island, but only if you have some amount of hiking experience!! It’s LONG, a very tiring day that will leave your feet sore at the last few kilometres, but super worth it. I experienced all weather conditions, and wore everything from a down coat to a windbreaker to a fleece and a T-shirt with a base layer. Strongly recommend a good pair of hiking boots. We finished in 6.5 hours with a long (~1 hour) break for lunch at the emerald pools. Make sure the weather is good before going up because the red crater ridge was scary because of the crazy wind!! Overall, an amazing hike with unparalleled views, and generally not the hardest hike I’ve ever done...not easy, the ascents are steep, but they don’t last long. 2 L of water was perfect, as well as lunch and one bag of peanuts. Definitely would do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

We did it Wed 24 April along with about 1,200 other people: “Heavily trafficked” barely gets it; this was more like Oxford Street on a Saturday. 5 stars for strenuous and truly fantastic views at the top and first half of descent. But first hour and last two pretty boring. You should take at least one stick for the first 500m of descent. The best place for lunch is the third lake - about 30 mins after the summit. It does not stink of sulphur, there is plenty of room and passably comfortable ground.

hiking
2 months ago

Best hike I have ever done! Took 6 hours to complete. This hike is rated as difficult but for an active hiker it was not as challenging as I expected, it is a really great break up between the difficult sections and flat ground to catch your breath. The devils staircase and red crater ridge will have your legs feeling warm but totally worth it. Power through the devils staircase and you will be done before you know it, if you stop and look up it will just feel more daunting. The emerald lake is a great view for lunch but can get crowded or just about 15 minutes later is the blue lake which has plenty of room!

rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Just perfect, don’t forget your poles!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome walk! Make sure you have enough water, warm clothing and stamina

3 months ago

Awesome trail!

hiking
3 months ago

Tiring as f*ck but worth it mate! #Bikog

hiking
3 months ago

Challenging but worth it. Every part of the hike is incredible. One of my favourite hikes.

3 months ago

We have been there 19th April on Good Friday!!! It was amazing, awesome weather for this day, we really enjoyed it ;-)

3 months ago

Great day walk, beautiful views, freezing at the top so be prepared!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
3 months ago

Do not underestimate this hike. Fantastic scenery and absolutely awesome terrain but weather can change in an instant. Started off beautiful and sunny but we encountered 100mph winds and -13 windchill temperatures. The fog, snow and clouds made this an amazing experience and even with lots of people, it’s definitely a hike you won’t forget!

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