Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Located in New Zealand's oldest national park and considered to be a World Heritage Site, Tongrariro Alpine crossing is considered to be New Zealand's number one day hike. A 19.4 kilometre trip heralds some of the most incredible views, diverse conditions and natures incredulous creations. Whilst walking you witness the true beauty this hike has to offer, from a running waterfall to the volcanic wasteland as you climb higher. 
Depending on your fitness level and walking pace the hike can take anywhere between 5.5 hours to 7.5 hours. 

It is recommended that you organise transport before you decide to conquer Mordor as it is a very long walk back to the beginning (it's a 38.8km round trip).  There are many transport providers doing shuttles from Taupo or Turangi. We visited the Taupo information centre and booked our shuttle from there for $30 each. There are many shuttle times available but starting earliest is best. We took the 6am shuttle and didn't finish the hike until 6pm (We were both so in awe of the place that we would stop and take photo's and bask in the beauty of the place). Also, if you plan to hike to the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe(Mt Doom) do add an extra three hours onto your walking time as climbing the volcano is no easy, or quick feat. 

There are a few different route options, personally we hiked from Mangatepopo to the end carpark. This is considered the "easier" route as there is less climbing involved. 

Due to the hike being in alpine conditions it is recommended that you take appropriate gear as weather can change very quickly in the region. Many people end up being rescued and evacuated along this hike as they are not prepared. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended but it is easily doable in runners. Make sure you bring a waterproof rain jacket, a fleece jumper and depending on condition you may even need a beanie or gloves. Always bring high energy food and drink bottles (At least one litre - there are fresh water streams you can fill up with along the way). Please keep in mind that these are recommendations for a day trip. If you are doing an overnight you will need more gear. 

Why do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing? There are so many reasons but here are a few: 

Incredible Landscape: You will walk through stunning volcanic landscape with vast mountains, desolate volcanic wasteland and emerald lakes. 

Diverse vegetation. As you are walking you truly wonder how any living organism can survive in this baron wasteland - yet it does. 

It can be done. What took the hobbits three years will take you about 8 hours and you'll be home in time for dinner. If that isn't awesome, what is? 


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Budget travel advice from the lousiest beatniks that wander on this land.