Website by Tomahawk, How the Tongariro National Park earned its UNESCO Dual World Heritage status, Hiking checklist: What to take on the Tongariro Crossing. Guiding can be organised on request. These overviews are just a basic statistical possibility, coming from our years of knowledge around the track. Which can cause a few horrible issues such as: bottle necks of people on narrow parts of the track The northern approaches to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with, to the left, Te Maari crater steaming, Mt Tongariro in the centre and Mt Ngauruhoe on the far right It can change between ‘Freedom hiking’, ‘Track safety’ and ‘Fully guided’ day by day. ‘Summer’ is usually November to May. As a result, returning to the western end requires, retracing the 19.4 km crossing, walking 26 km via State Highways 46 and 47 back to the other trailhead, or completing the Tongariro Northern Circuit.. Guided is by choice and is highly recommended in the season … On a busy fine day over 2000 hikers can be hiking the Crossing. It will take between 6-9 hours to complete the hike, which doesn’t include the time spent getting to and from the carparks. The track is well mark and you do not require a guide. I would recommend going early or late in the season because the temperatures will not be as high and it trek will be less crowded. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be hiked any time of the year, making it one of the most popular and (at times) crowded trails in New Zealand. During this post, we run through what to expect with the different seasons and when the best times to hike the Crossing are. The Tongariro Crossing is a walk way across the edge of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe including a walk across a lunar like landscape with views of active volcanoes and recent lava flows. Guiding options have limited spots available. The snow comes… the snow melts away…. You know most people find that they don't enjoy the track at all if they choose to go over in bad weather. This video, produced by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, takes you through the entire track and shows you how to prepare for a successful day out so that you make it home safely. September – Fully guided Hire gear is available to only those doing return shuttles – not Ketetahi. July – Track safety You are equipped with cramp-ons and an ice axe that you are trained in using plus a helmet. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is amongst the best one day hikes in the world and is rated the #1 one day hike in New Zealand! However, every season brings dramatically different Tongariro Crossing weather. Managing this number of walkers and their impacts is essential. The trek can be done in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Read more about the experience of hiking Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter, Please enable JavaScript in your browser for better experience. The Tongariro National Park has got two seasons: The Great Walk Season, the summer season: start Labour Weekend (end October) – 30 April; Outside the Great Walk Season, the winter season: 1 May – Labour Weekend (end October) Check here the current dates for Labour weekend My wife and I did the Tongariro Crossing on February 8, 2019. The best season for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Full refund available up to the day before. Unexpected winds have the ability to create cool, dry conditions, and for unprepared hikers on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing this can mean immediate danger. So, what does this mean when you are trying to book ahead of time? That way you are hiking your way back to your car. 140,000 tourists hiked the Crossing last season. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and is regarded as among the top ten single-day treks in the world. The reason? Tongariro National Park is a dual World Heritage area due to its outstanding natural features and cultural significance. The length of Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4 km, and it takes anywhere from 5 to 8 hours so be prepared for a full challenging day out. For these different seasons, there are different types of tours and transport options we have to help you make your crossing a safe experience. If you are trying the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for the first time, it’s best to go in the summer. While the Tongariro Alpine Crossing should always be taken seriously (you are walking 19.4km over an active volcano after all! This number has more than doubled in just the last five years to over 130,000 walkers last season. Tongariro Crossing Weather Tips. We take you to the start of the track. Soda Springs: 15-minute side trip from the head of Mangatepopo Valley, where you will find an oasis for the moisture-loving, yellow buttercups and white foxgloves. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is enjoyed by self-hiking and as the trail is well marked and you are not alone, everyone is going the same way. Crossing over the foothills of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the Northern Circuit requires a moderate level of fitness. quickly, conveniently and comfortably At this time of year, you’ll get a feel for the trek without having to deal with ice and snow. Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter I n the winter months, from May to October, snow and ice covers much of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. This option includes gear, transport and guide. 'Midseason' is when it changes between the two. Overview: What’s Up With The Tongariro Crossing Seasons. We have hire gear on the bus if you need it and we give you a map and information sheet. will be one of your ultimate experiences! Before you start your Tongariro Northern Circuit walk: You need to book huts and/or campsites on the track if you’re walking in the peak season between October and April (bookings are not required if you’re walking in the off-peak season). For these different seasons, there are different types of tours and transport options we have to help you make your crossing a safe experience. This will normally mean hiking with hundreds and hundreds of tourists. We rode the Northern Express train from Auckland, stopped in Ohakune for two nights to do the Crossing, and continued on to Wellington. The track was originally designed for about 1000 people per day, but during the high season up to 3000 people hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing per day. My cousin and I drove down from Rotorua at the end of high season in April and managed to catch a perfect day. It's not necessarily for everyone. There is a staff member that goes up ahead of the group to assess the track and weather conditions. At a comfortable speed with plenty of stops for photos (or resting – we are not judging), it takes between 7-8 hours to complete. Plan the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike for the right time of year. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing. You will gain 765 meters elevation and lose 1125 meters if you hike from Mangatepopo car park to Ketetahi car park. December to February – This is the summer season in New Zealand and a time when you’re almost guaranteed no snow on the Tongariro Crossing. ), it can be tackled without a guide for most of the year. "The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not a memorable experience for the right reasons on a bad day. DISTANCE AND ELEVATION GAIN AT TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING. We also pick up from Base Camp, and a car park in from of the Tongariro Holiday Park. Check here to see the latest updates on volcanic activity in the area. November – Freedom hiking. This is usually June, July and October. A lot of people were undertaking the 19.4km (12+ mile) walk so conversations, huffing and a lot of puffing floated around on the thin alpine air. The Great Walk hiking season runs from late October through till the end of April, depending on snow cover. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Route. The Tongariro Alpine crossing traverses areas with active volcanoes. If they change to unsafe they will turn you around. Once you decide on your Transport option then we would put through a partial refund. This hike takes you through the heart of “Mordor”, passing by “Mount Doom” (and climbing up it, if you’re feeling energetic enough to add 2-3 hours to your day for the side track to the summit). If you are experienced in hiking with crampons and ice axe and in alpine terrain, you can trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing during these months. 1 Tongariro Alpine Crossing transport and guiding has three seasons – summer season, winter season and mid season (autumn-spring) – which determine the best way to tackle the Crossing and the costs involved. We rode the Northern Express train from Auckland, stopped in Ohakune for two nights to do the Crossing, and continued on to Wellington. We offer shuttle services from Taupo, Turangi, Base Camp and Ketetahi. The first time we hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, we woke up to a dark and foggy landscape. The track is open for access all year round and can be hiked during both the winter and summer seasons. In winter, we offer either 'Fully guided' or 'Track Safety'. What season is best for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing? If you book transport only and we end up guiding, your booking is seen as holding a guided spot until you choose to either upgrade or cancel. This is when there is snow on the track requiring cramp-ons. The guides show you the way as the marker pole may not be visible or the conditions could be white out. Quite a few children were walking the trail (overheard toward the end, "Dad, I'm never going for a walk with you again."Ha!) The Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be walked in either direction and there are several side trips. Also, if you book a transport only option but we are only offering fully guided due to snow levels you can either upgrade or cancel for a full refund. and al… You will also be … The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is iconic, walked by as many as 100,000 people each year. For this coming Summer Season of 2020/2021 . – You should set aside a whole day to hike the Tongariro crossing. This option includes gear and transport. "So our message is it's a very challenging hike. In winter, we offer either 'Fully guided' or 'Track Safety'. When booking ahead of time you are pretty safe to book Fully Guided for August and September. 2 Shuttle only option (summer conditions) applies when the track is clear from snow and ice. We were told by our shuttle driver that the fog usually disappears once the sun comes up, so we went ahead and started the hike. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is growing in popularity every year. The Tongariro Crossing or also commonly called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, is one of the most popular of the 9 ‘Great Walks’ designated by the Department of Conservation. Large parts of the track are hardly wide enough to pass other people, so on busy days, you’re often walking in a line, waiting for the track to get wider so you can pass a slower group of people. There are increased risks from snow, ice, avalanche … The route winds along a raised boardwalk until it starts to climb sharply. It’s a generally safe time to do a freedom hike (without a guide) of the Tongariro Crossing. Getting there They at times have to cut steps or take a detour if needed. The Tongariro Crossing can be divided up into several distinct sections, each being completely unique and breathtaking. If we cancel you can either get a full refund or transfer to another day. You need special skills and preparation to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter (June to October). The crossing is a linear journey, starting on the west side of Mount Tongariro and finishing on the north side. It’s more of a moving target, depending on the weather and we move with it, offering options based on the actual conditions of the track. The track is well marked and easy to follow. Once you figure out your dates look into what the conditions will be like and dress accordingly. The seasons to us on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are not specific dates on the calendar, oh no. Ketetahi car park is a one-way shuttle where you park your car at the end of the track in the morning. Sun, warmish down the bottom and no snow on Tongariro. Best time of year to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the summer season, which starts from October and lasts until April. Take a look at our selection of images of this natural wonderland. The spectacular vistas and unique geological features of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing create a perfect setting for some amazing photographs. So, what do the seasonal terms mean to us? Transport only options are available from most accommodation providers in Taupo and Turangi. My wife and I did the Tongariro Crossing on February 8, 2019. If you want to hike the Tongariro Crossing, make sure you: are fit enough to walk 20 km in mountainous/alpine circumstances, partly uphill; start early (6.30h latest) to avoid crowds, you’ll finish between 13:00h and 15:00h (about 7-8 hours later); National Park Shuttles, Active Outdoor Adventures and Backyard Tours have partnered Transfers to the "Tongariro Alpine Crossing" with our team. We suggest you book Track Safety for July and October. Conditions in Tongariro National Park change dramatically with the seasons, resulting in a wide variety of habitats. If they remain safe they let you pass. Tongariro National Park (/ ˈ t ɒ ŋ ɡ ə r ɪr oʊ /; Māori: [tɔŋaɾiɾɔ]) is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island.It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site of mixed cultural and natural values.. Tongariro National Park was the sixth national park established in the world. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km of pure rugged New Zealand beauty. Mangatepopo Car Park to Soda Springs(4.3km) This is the easiest part of the hike, and is flat for the most part. Ketetahi to Mangatepopo: Allow an extra hour to walk the track in reverse. Side trips. Wind. Fully guided is when you have a trained guide per 8-10 hikers. © 2020 Tongariro Expeditions. You should start walking the crossing between 8-9am. We try our best to accommodate all our guests and make adjustments as we go along, in case you need a different option. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one-way 19.4km track. June – Freedom For example, if you book Track Safety for October but the snow has all melted away when you call we would update you with the most up to date track conditions and explain your options. October – Track safety The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is described as one of the best one-day hikes in New Zealand. Poor visibility on the Tongariro Crossing. If you are experienced in hiking with crampons and ice axe and in alpine terrain, you can trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing during these months. Transport Only Options for November to June. The Tongariro Crossing transport services aim to get you to the track for this time. Track safety is when there is not too much snow and it is safe to hike with cramp-ons without support. Although beautiful, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, can be dangerous if you are not fully prepared to enter an alpine environment. The weather varies significantly on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, it can change quickly in the space of a few hours but also settles into different patterns depending on the season. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km of pure rugged New Zealand beauty. 2 Shuttle only option (summer conditions) applies when the track is clear from snow and ice. Shuttle transport recommended for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. With snow and ice covering the track, walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter requires special skills and preparation. 1. August – Fully guided National Park Village lies in the heart of the dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park and provides easy access to nearby activities. Because of this, it can be easy to forget that it is a serious trek over mountainous terrain, made even harder by ice and snow during the winter months. 'Winter' is usually August and September. Tongariro Expeditions recommend hikers to be prepared with sunglasses, a hat/beanie, sunblock with an SPF rating of at least 50+ and plenty of water to counter symptoms of dehydration. This is when there is snow on the track requiring cramp-ons. At times, there may be a requirement for an upgrade or refund. Best time of year to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Extreme weather, terrain and distance have resulted in this track having the highest number of search and rescues for hikers in New Zealand. 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