Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

long distance shot of mount tongariro with snow

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. It 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.

Our experience of Tongariro

Now our experience of the Alpine crossing might be a bit different to others as we went at the very start of the season. 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

frozen ice on a pole on tongariro alpine crossing in new zealand
frozen lake with mountain up mount tongariro in new zealand
melissa carne on mount tongariro in new zealand

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.

How long did it take to hike Tongariro?

The hike took us 6 hours to complete. The walk 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. 

What to see

A lot of the walk is a climb but the views are worth it. There are waterfalls, springs and emerald green lakes. Not to mention the panoramic views (if you can sneak a peak in between the clouds.)

Aching muscles

When we got back I was exhausted and my muscles were aching. However, our campsite had a hot tub which was an actual god send. 

Summary and other posts

Overall I would highly recommend doing this hike, you need to be of a decent fitness but it is well worth it! Don’t forget to check out my other posts on: Craters of the MoonRotorua, Hobbiton, Piha, Coromandel, Waitomo Caves and Auckland.

Lots of love, Melissa x

Video credit – Sam Gill

mountain view from the top of mount tongariro in new zealand

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