The Tongariro Crossing Walk
A Life-Changing Experience
The Tongariro Crossing Walk includes a variety of trips in the iconic Tongariro National Park.
Experience the dramatic alpine and volcanic landscapes of World Heritage Area Tongariro National Park, with a small group and experienced local guide.
Hike the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake. Significant cultural heritage combined with arid badlands, crater lakes, sparkling rivers, breath-taking lunar landscapes, native beech forest and alpine meadows – with stunning alpine lodgings and fantastic meals and wine this New Zealand hiking tour is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!
We offer pick-ups from Rotorua at 3pm or Taupo at 4pm. There are lots of buses and domestic flights into Rotorua every day, or you can self-drive to meet us in Tongariro. Just contact us if you need any advice.
Once we have everyone on board we will head south through the North Islands geothermal heartland, alongside Lake Taupo. We’ll arrive at our stunning accommodation in time to watch the sun set over the magnificent Tongariro volcanoes with a glass of wine and nibbles, before a delicious restaurant meal.
It is also possible to be picked up from the bus or train station in National Park Village, or to self drive direct to our accommodation - just ask us for directions.
Day 1: Crossing the Tongariro
This morning we’ll set off on one of the world’s greatest one day hikes, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (900 m height gain).
This trail leads us through an incredible variety of ethereal landscapes - lava fields, emerald coloured crater lakes, steaming vents, alpine meadows, over an alpine pass, amidst the stunning mountain peaks – there’s nothing like it anywhere else on the planet! The views across to Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Ruapehu and the central plateau of the North Island are simply spectacular and worth every step!
If conditions allow we will have an early start on the track, so we can enjoy the pre-dawn solitude of the mountains and watch the sunrise over the volcanoes – a truly magical experience!
Lonely Planet recommends a walk amidst the Tongariro Volcanoes as "a life-changing experience not to be missed!" Your guides make this incredible hike even more memorable by sharing local stories and legends, and bringing the extraordinary geological history to life.
Return to the Chateau and revive your weary muscles in the plunge pool and sauna, before meeting in the delightful lounge for pre-dinner aperitifs. Tonight we head out to a restaurant & pub for a casual meal with the locals.
Day 2: Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake
Our favourite hike! The climb to the Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake is equally as stunning as the Tongariro Crossing, but offers a different array of landscapes and is crowd-free. We take a chair lift up to 2000m, then hike up to the Crater Lake near the summit (approx 2 hours up to 2660m). There is no formed trail; the guide will choose the best route through boulder fields, old lava flows and patches of snow.
The climax is reaching the active acid Crater Lake, whose waters reach temperatures of up to 60°C, not to mention the unforgettable 360 degree views from near the summit of the North Island's highest mountain.
In case of poor weather we’ll do an alternative hike. The Whakapapaiti Valley Walk boasts magnificent views, interesting glacial landscapes, an untouched mountain river and native forest as it winds around and down the flank of Mt Ruapehu. Tonight enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group in the Chateau’s elegant Ruapehu Restaurant.
Day 3: Taranaki Falls
This morning we’ll hike from Whakapapa Village through alpine meadows and gorgeous beech forest to Taranaki Falls. Tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, this waterfall packs a real punch, sending spray right across the large boulder-ringed pool at the bottom. If you’re game, it’s possible to walk all the way around behind the curtain of the waterfall - time to put a jacket on!
After lunch, we’ll begin the short journey north to Taupo and on to Rotorua. On the way we’ll stop to walk around Lake Rotopounamu, a glistening jewel nestled into the side of an old volcanic mountain. We’ll drop you back at your accommodation around 5 - 6pm, refreshed and invigorated from the amazing hikes, good food and great times you’ll have had with us in the Central Plateau!
**This tour is run in conjunction with another operator.
Book now for next Summer!
- April: 1, 11, 14, 25
- November: 7,14,21,28
- December: 5,12,19,26
- January: 4,9,16,23,30
- February: 6,13,20,27
- March: 6,13,20,27
- April: 3,10,17,24
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.