Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand
Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog, todays post is all about the famous tramping/hike track, Tongariro Alpine Crossing located in Tongariro National Park which is a World Heritage site which has dual status for both its natural and cultural significance.
We stayed at Plateau Lodge which is a lovely camper van site and hotel. The lady who owned the place/was the receptionist was so helpful, she gave us lots of advice and booked our transport to and from the alpine crossing, which by the way you have to do unless you want to walk all the way back! I believe we went with the company TCS (Tongariro Crossing Shuttles) which was $40 per person.
Now our experience of the Alpine crossing might be a bit different to others as we went at the very start of the season and the weather before and after our trek was so bad it was actually cancelled! Also a lady about a week before we went actually died on the mountain… So the conditions in which we went up the mountain were pretty extreme, (see picture opposite.) However, the campsite, the shuttle company and the rangers were very knowledgable and prepped us for what we were going to experience. Now I know this all sounds scary and to be honest it was for me, an inexperienced hiker but, I bet most people do not do this hike in those conditions. That being said although it was mentally and physically probably one of the hardest things I have ever done it was one of the best, conquering fears makes you feel so good.
The hike took us 6 hours to complete, it is 19.4 kilometres / 12.1 miles long and reaches an altitude of 1,120 metres/ 6.760 feet. I did not suffer with altitude sickness at all which was good but, I highly doubt most people would at this altitude.
A lot of the walk is a climb but the views are worth it, there are waterfalls, springs and emerald green lakes and not to mention the panoramic views (if you can sneak a peak in between the clouds.)
Throughout most of the hike we stayed with a group from our shuttle, as lets be real there is safety in numbers and people doing the hike the opposite way were helpful in telling us where to tread (the snow was deep in parts and the track disappeared under it.)
When we got back I was exhausted and my muscles were aching however, at our campsite there was a hot tub which was an actual god send. Overall I would highly recommend doing this hike, you need to be of a decent fitness but it is well worth it!
Lots of love, Melissa x
Video credit – Sam Gill