Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the most popular route in New Zealand


Tongariro Alpine Crossing It is possibly the most popular day route in New Zealand. This is possible mainly for two things. The first for how spectacular it is to go through this volcanic landscape. The second for being in the northern law and therefore close to the main cities and routes of New Zealand. The Tongariro route is for those who enjoy the crossings oftrekking long haul, since its 20km they end up with the desire and strength of more than one tourist without proper preparation.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

Stage Profile

Map - Tongariro Alpne Crossing

You can download the route track pressing here. If you want to see the official route map with references and information phones press here.

The Lord of the rings

For the lovers of this trilogy this is their route. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is within one of the shooting areas of the popular Peter Jackson films. In this case, we talk about Bite and the Mount of Destiny, the volcano Ruapehu. Of course the creepy and arid lands of Mordor as well as the house of Dark Lord Sauron They will pass through your mind when you walk through these arid places.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing - Emerlald Lakes

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing route

Before leaving

The first thing before embarking on the route, you must see if you are wearing the right clothes. El Tongariro is a route that has drastic changes of weather plus it rains frequently, so you have to wear a raincoat and warm clothes even if it is hot at the exit. We highly recommend the southern route, shorter the ascent and much more bearable. Road access from Rotoaira Lake It is really heavy and not recommended, ascension is very long and ends with the patience of more than one hiker.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing - Esmerlald Lakes

It should be noted that to perform the Tongariro Alpine Crossingyou have to hire the transport back, $ 18NZ, (the official $ 35NZ) ​​since it's not a circular route. You can hire transportation at any campsite, hotel or tourist office in the area. Do not leave.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

Our ascension

They came to pick us up at 6am at the campsite, the Discovery Lodge, which is next to the crossing, about 7km from the starting point of the crossing. The first thing the driver tells you to see you is the weather, clouds and rain usually in this area, and asks you about the footwear and clothes you wear. In New Zealand, security is taken very seriously.

We arrived at the starting point about 20min later It was beginning to dawn and the route threatened gray, with clouds and poor visibility. It seems to be very common, since you can see the Mt. Ngauruhoe without clouds It is almost a miracle.

Departure from Tongariro Alpne Crossing

The beginning of the ascent of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is gradual, until it reaches a point, the Mangatetopu Hut where there are bathrooms and possibility of campgive free. There are signs where they warn that if you don't have strength here, turn around and don't suffer in the attempt. Let's take this very seriously, since the slope from this moment is very serious for those who don't walk the mountain frequently.

We climb in the middle of a sea of ​​clouds, as very low visibility, until we reach the first crater, the South crater, where small rays of sun with timid force crossed those clouds that hid the landscape from us. For a few moments the sun could with them, watching the volcano show that we had in front of us. They appeared and disappeared, but once we reached the Red crater, the most vertical and highest moment of the route, we had a window of 30min where we could more than cross them and thus marvel at the Emerald Lakes and the Central Carter, key points of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and that you have colors capable of challenging the landscape so Martian that we had before us.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

Leaving the Emerald Lakes another huge crater appears, this time black with the occasional snowfield where we could step on snow for a few moments. Possibly this area is one of the classic Filming of The Lord of the Rings.

After about 20min the largest lagoon appears, the Blue lake, covered by the fog next to the track that announces a long descent surrounded by fumaroles and constant changes of vegetation.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

It is to be admired how in New Zealand they take care of the roads. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing trail is perfectly laid out and very careful. It has small bridges, it is very well marked and in many they put a rubber on the path so as not to slip or leave the route.

As the descent begins the vegetation reappears. Halfway there is a small shelter, a perfect place to appease the spirits of the brave who undertake the climb up the south face.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

The descent is very long and you only begin to realize that you arrive at the exit when you enter a semi-tropical forest. It seems that you are on another route, but New Zealand is what it has, you are on Mars and suddenly you go to Earth.

Practical data

Before leaving for New Zealand

  • New Zealand's Planet Planet Guide
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in New Zealand with 15% discount
  • New Zealand map

How to get?

The starting point is at theMangatetopo Road, next to the 47. If you do not have transportation it can be a good point to wait for one to arrive and talk to them to close the pick-up at the exit. The Departures They usually start from 6am.

He pick up time Once the route is over, it is from 12:30 to 16:30 with intervals of one hour. If you do not arrive on time, you will have to look for life.

Where to stay

There are a couple of campsites in the area. One next to the tourist office on highway 48 and another a few kilometers from National park, he Discovery Lodge, a good point to charge batteries in the motorhome and make an appointment with the transport. Price of the camping 2 people with motorhome and electricity 44NZ $.

Distances to consider

As New Zealand feeds exclusively on regional roads, distances and times between destinations must be taken into account, unless we plan it badly and do not reach the activated ones you may have planned.

  • To Auckland 332 km.
  • To Waitomo Caves 150 km.
  • To Wellington 320 km.

Tongariro Alpne Crossing

Travel insurance

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