Extreme weather, terrain and distance have resulted in this track having the highest number of search and rescues for hikers in New Zealand. 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. The busiest, but also the best time to hike is over the summer season from December to February as it offers the most-stable weather conditions. Check here to see the latest updates on volcanic activity in the area. It’s a generally safe time to do a freedom hike (without a guide) of 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. 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. That way you are hiking your way back to your car. For this coming Summer Season of 2020/2021 . Unexpected winds have the ability to create cool, dry conditions, and for unprepared hikers on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing this can mean immediate danger. 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 This will normally mean hiking with hundreds and hundreds of tourists. 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. The Tongariro Alpine crossing traverses areas with active volcanoes. Take a look at our selection of images of this natural wonderland. Read more about the experience of hiking Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter, Please enable JavaScript in your browser for better experience. This is when there is snow on the track requiring cramp-ons. My wife and I did the Tongariro Crossing on February 8, 2019. 140,000 tourists hiked the Crossing last season. 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. In winter, we offer either 'Fully guided' or 'Track Safety'. quickly, conveniently and comfortably 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. In winter, we offer either 'Fully guided' or 'Track Safety'. While the Tongariro Alpine Crossing should always be taken seriously (you are walking 19.4km over an active volcano after all! Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km of pure rugged New Zealand beauty. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one-way 19.4km track. and al… At a comfortable speed with plenty of stops for photos (or resting – we are not judging), it takes between 7-8 hours to complete. It’s a tricky season and we must always be at the top of our game when it comes to judging the track and conditions. Hire gear is available to only those doing return shuttles – not Ketetahi. This is usually June, July and October. Sun, warmish down the bottom and no snow on Tongariro. This option includes gear and transport. 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. With snow and ice covering the track, walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter requires special skills and preparation. If they remain safe they let you pass. The Tongariro crossing has been described as the best one-day hike in New Zealand for ages, but has gained a whole new pilgrimage since Lord of the Rings came out. 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. Mangatepopo Car Park to Soda Springs(4.3km) This is the easiest part of the hike, and is flat for the most part. 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 reason? Transport only options are available from most accommodation providers in Taupo and Turangi. 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. Ketetahi to Mangatepopo: Allow an extra hour to walk the track in reverse. October – Track safety 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); Crossing over the foothills of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the Northern Circuit requires a moderate level of fitness. I hope this helps you to book confidently for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for any season. We offer shuttle services from Taupo, Turangi, Base Camp and Ketetahi. We suggest you book Track Safety for July and October. July – Track safety During this post, we run through what to expect with the different seasons and when the best times to hike the Crossing are. You are equipped with cramp-ons and an ice axe that you are trained in using plus a helmet. When booking ahead of time you are pretty safe to book Fully Guided for August and September. So, what does this mean when you are trying to book ahead of time? 'Midseason' is when it changes between the two. 'Winter' is usually August and September. Getting there We rode the Northern Express train from Auckland, stopped in Ohakune for two nights to do the Crossing, and continued on to Wellington. 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. 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. Website by Tomahawk, How the Tongariro National Park earned its UNESCO Dual World Heritage status, Hiking checklist: What to take on the Tongariro Crossing. 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. 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. 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. We have hire gear on the bus if you need it and we give you a map and information sheet. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be walked in either direction and there are several side trips. Guiding can be organised on request. Once you decide on your Transport option then we would put through a partial refund. Let me explain: 'Summer' is when there is no snow on the track. 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.. What season is best for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing? We give you a map and information sheet. 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. 'Winter' is usually August and September. You will gain 765 meters elevation and lose 1125 meters if you hike from Mangatepopo car park to Ketetahi car park. 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). Transport Only Options for November to June. The snow comes… the snow melts away…. Wind. It will take between 6-9 hours to complete the hike, which doesn’t include the time spent getting to and from the carparks. Track safety is when there is not too much snow and it is safe to hike with cramp-ons without support. We also pick up from Base Camp, and a car park in from of the Tongariro Holiday Park. 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. 2 Shuttle only option (summer conditions) applies when the track is clear from snow and ice. Poor visibility on the Tongariro Crossing. Plan the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike for the right time of year. National Park Shuttles, Active Outdoor Adventures and Backyard Tours have partnered Transfers to the "Tongariro Alpine Crossing" with our team. My cousin and I drove down from Rotorua at the end of high season in April and managed to catch a perfect day. For these different seasons, there are different types of tours and transport options we have to help you make your crossing a safe experience. 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! Ketetahi car park is a one-way shuttle where you park your car at the end of the track in the morning. There is a staff member that goes up ahead of the group to assess the track and weather conditions. 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. – You should set aside a whole day to hike the Tongariro crossing. 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. What’s Up With The Tongariro Crossing Seasons. Tongariro Crossing Weather Tips. August – Fully guided Tongariro National Park is a dual World Heritage area due to its outstanding natural features and cultural significance. National Park Village lies in the heart of the dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park and provides easy access to nearby activities. The spectacular vistas and unique geological features of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing create a perfect setting for some amazing photographs. At times, there may be a requirement for an upgrade or refund. Quite a few children were walking the trail (overheard toward the end, "Dad, I'm never going for a walk with you again."Ha!) © 2020 Tongariro Expeditions. They at times have to cut steps or take a detour if needed. If they change to unsafe they will turn you around. Tongariro Crossing need to know: – The Tongariro Crossing is a one way hike. If you are trying the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for the first time, it’s best to go in the summer. The temperatures are warmer and it’s a completely different experience to crossing in winter. The crossing is a linear journey, starting on the west side of Mount Tongariro and finishing on the north side. will be one of your ultimate experiences! 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. However, every season brings dramatically different Tongariro Crossing weather. The seasons to us on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are not specific dates on the calendar, oh no. These overviews are just a basic statistical possibility, coming from our years of knowledge around the track. The guides show you the way as the marker pole may not be visible or the conditions could be white out. 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. "So our message is it's a very challenging hike. The route winds along a raised boardwalk until it starts to climb sharply. You should start walking the crossing between 8-9am. What to expect from the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Best time of year to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the summer season, which starts from October and lasts until April. You know most people find that they don't enjoy the track at all if they choose to go over in bad weather. This number has more than doubled in just the last five years to over 130,000 walkers last season. Once you figure out your dates look into what the conditions will be like and dress accordingly. You will also be … 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. 1. The Tongariro Crossing transport services aim to get you to the track for this time. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Route. 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). 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 View our map of the track. If we cancel you can either get a full refund or transfer to another day. The Tongariro Crossing can be divided up into several distinct sections, each being completely unique and breathtaking. Full refund available up to the day before. 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. 2 Shuttle only option (summer conditions) applies when the track is clear from snow and ice. Guided is by choice and is highly recommended in the season … Side trips. November – Freedom hiking. 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 track is well mark and you do not require a guide. Fully guided is when you have a trained guide per 8-10 hikers. 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. The Great Walk hiking season runs from late October through till the end of April, depending on snow cover. Best time of year to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. June – Freedom The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is iconic, walked by as many as 100,000 people each year. "The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not a memorable experience for the right reasons on a bad day. On a busy fine day over 2000 hikers can be hiking the Crossing. The best season for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. So, what do the seasonal terms mean to us? The trek can be done in spring, summer, fall, and winter. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is described as one of the best one-day hikes in New Zealand. There are increased risks from snow, ice, avalanche … 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. We rode the Northern Express train from Auckland, stopped in Ohakune for two nights to do the Crossing, and continued on to Wellington. We also specialise in Private Transfers making it easy for you to get around. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is growing in popularity every year. For these different seasons, there are different types of tours and transport options we have to help you make your crossing a safe experience. DISTANCE AND ELEVATION GAIN AT TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING. My wife and I did the Tongariro Crossing on February 8, 2019. It's not necessarily for everyone. It can change between ‘Freedom hiking’, ‘Track safety’ and ‘Fully guided’ day by day. The first time we hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, we woke up to a dark and foggy landscape. 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. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing. Guiding options have limited spots available. This option includes gear, transport and guide. This is when there is snow on the track requiring cramp-ons. At this time of year, you’ll get a feel for the trek without having to deal with ice and snow. 'Winter' is when there is snow on the track. Which can cause a few horrible issues such as: bottle necks of people on narrow parts of the track The track is well marked and easy to follow. You need special skills and preparation to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter (June to October). The track is open for access all year round and can be hiked during both the winter and summer seasons. We take you to the start of the track. Conditions in Tongariro National Park change dramatically with the seasons, resulting in a wide variety of habitats. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km of pure rugged New Zealand beauty. ), it can be tackled without a guide for most of the year. Shuttle transport recommended for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. We try our best to accommodate all our guests and make adjustments as we go along, in case you need a different option. 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