new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
 world: +64 3 962 3280
Select Currency:
  • Overview
  • Itinerary & Map
  • What's Included
  • Photos
  • And more...
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Tongariro Crossing Walk

Start:RotoruaTours run:November - April (Weekly)
  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
challenging grade
Duration:3 days/3 nights
excl GST

qualmark activity2

The Tongariro Crossing Walk: A Life-Changing Experience

The Tongariro Crossing Walk is recommended as a 'life-changing experience' by the Lonely Planet travel guide.

This guided walk features a variety of trips in the iconic Tongariro National Park in the North Island of New Zealand.

These include the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, stark volcanic landscapes, and awe-inspiring views over the central North Island.

You'll walk through native beech forests and traverse alpine fields.

You'll see a host of sparkling (and sometimes steaming) crater lakes, including the well-known lake at the top of volcanic Mt Ruapehu.

Itinerary button

Dates remaining for this Summer


  • March: 7, 14 (full), 21, 28
  • April: 1, 11, 14, 25

Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November - April (Weekly)
  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D


We can customise tours to suit.





Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

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!
Tongariro Crossing Walk Map


Getting There

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.

  • Walking
Hrs, KM

Dates remaining for this Summer


  • March: 7, 14 (full), 21, 28
  • April: 1, 11, 14, 25

What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Tongariro Crossing Walk


Days 1, 2 and 3
The Chateau Tongariro is a 4-star historic hotel with AMAZING views of the mountains and National Park. An elegant lounge area provides the perfect place to relax and socialise with the group at the end of each day. The heated plunge pool and sauna are ideal for tired muscles! Rooms are studio twin or double with ensuite - single supplement and upgrades to executive spa suites are available on request.


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.

Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour

Fully Guided

Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.

Tongariro Crossing Walk Guides
Staff induction day

Tongariro Crossing Walk Guides

Social Time

What Should I Bring?

The following list of items and instructions is designed to ensure your optimal comfort and safety in the alpine setting.

We can lend rain coats and day packs by prior arrangement.

Ensure you have plenty of warm clothing — be prepared for cold and changeable mountain weather.

For more information on what and how to pack, feel free to phone us on 0800 377 378.

  • Day pack
  • Warm gloves and hat
  • 2 litre drink bottle or CamelBak®
  • Toiletries, shampoo, and medications
  • Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses & sunhat
  • Camera and charger.

  • Hiking boots (worn in, please!)
  • Raincoat (we lend raincoats by prior arrangement)
  • Socks (about 3 pairs, preferably wool)
  • Lightweight trousers or shorts for hiking
  • Thermal long-johns or leggings (NB: these are essential for walking in an alpine environment)
  • Long-sleeved thermal top (wool or polypropylene)
  • Short-sleeved shirts (preferably merino wool or polypropylene).
  • Long-sleeved shirt or light sweater
  • Warm jersey (polar fleece or wool)
  • Evening clothes (casual)
  • Light running/walking shoes or sandals for evenings and easy walks
  • Sleepwear (e.g. pyjamas).

Optional Items:
  • Bathing suit & towel
  • Walking poles (highly recommended)
  • Mobile phone (highly recommended for safety, good cell phone reception throughout the park)
  • Book, journal etc
  • Water-proof over trousers
  • Down jacket
  • Lunch-box to protect your sandwiches (otherwise we provide paper bags)
  • Blister kit
  • Head torch or small hand held torch

We supply:
  • All meals, snacks, hot & cold drinks
  • Rain coats and day packs , please advise at time of booking if you wish to borrow these items.

Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.


Dates remaining for this Summer


  • March: 7, 14 (full), 21, 28
  • April: 1, 11, 14, 25


For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Dates remaining for this Summer


  • March: 7, 14 (full), 21, 28
  • April: 1, 11, 14, 25


For dates, availability & customisations Enquire


Tongariro Crossing Walk

World Heritage Status……

The area in which you will be walking was designated a National Park on the 23rd of September 1887. Te Heuheu, the Paramount Chief of the Ngati Tuwharetoa people, gifted 2,630ha of the central volcano area to the New Zealand Government, including the summits of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. His generosity secured access to the mountains for everyone.

In January 1991 Tongariro National Park was declared a World Heritage site, in recognition of its outstanding natural characteristics.

In 1994 the Park was also granted Cultural World Heritage status, in recognition of its cultural significance and history.



Approximately one million people visit Tongariro National Park each year, with summer visitors now outnumbering winter visitors as they take advantage of the excellent tramping and walking opportunities. Halfway between Auckland and Wellington, the park is easily reached from both city areas. Ruapehu has the only commercial skifields in the North Island. This also makes the mountain a popular place to visit. Turoa ski area is on the south-west side of the mountain and the small club field, Tukino, on the south-east. Whakapapa ski area is on the western slopes. Temperatures at Whakapapa Village can be as cold as -10°C or as warm as 25°C. Frosts can occur at any time of the year. At Whakapapa the yearly rainfall is about 2,200 mm, while on the Desert Road side it is only 1,250 mm.

It is unusual to have a village within a national park but Whakapapa Village was established early in the history of the park when people's opinions about conservation were different to what they are today.

About 150 people live permanently in Whakapapa over summer. This number increases to about 400 over the winter months. Whakapapa Village is New Zealand's highest settlement with permanent residents.

The ski lodges at Whakapapa skifield make up what is called Iwikau Village, named after one of the earlier Tuwharetoa chiefs.

The first club lodge was built by Ruapehu Ski Club in 1923. There are 47 private club lodges at Iwikau and a further five in Whakapapa Village.
possum Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
This little fellow destroys our forests
kakabeak Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
NZ Kakabeak
tonga, Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
There it is!

Tongariro Facts

Tongariro National Park is approximately 79,598 hectares.

Tongariro was the first national park formed in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. It was the first National Park in the world to be gifted by a country's indigenous people. The park is centred on three active volcanoes: Tongariro (1,968 metres), Ruapehu (2,797 metres), and Ngauruhoe (2,290metres).

Mt Ruapehu has a number of peaks:
  • Tahurangi 2,797 metres
  • Girdlestone 2,658 metres
  • Te Heuheu 2,732 metres
  • Paretetaitonga 2,751 metres
  • Mitre 2,591 metres

More Facts
  • Traditionally Ngauruhoe has erupted at least every nine years.
  • Mt Tongariro's active Red Crater last emitted ash in 1926.
  • Mt Ruapehu is the highest point in the North Island and, like Tongariro, its history began before the last ice age.
  • The eight named glaciers on Mt Ruapehu are the only glaciers in the North Island.
  • On top of Ruapehu is a crater lake which regularly passes through warming cycles. These cycles may result in small eruptions of ash and steam.
  • More than 60 eruptions from the crater have been recorded since 1945, including 1995/96 when the Crater Lake disappeared completely. Since the 1995/96 eruption the crater lake has begun to reform.
  • Ruapehu has a permanent cover of snow and ice, including seven glaciers.

Dates remaining for this Summer


  • March: 7, 14 (full), 21, 28
  • April: 1, 11, 14, 25

  • qualmark act 1-461
  • qualmark v 1-335
  • logo doc-53
  • logo ctonz-722-382
  • A2O-453-751-819-458
  • tia-735-951

contact us

new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
world: +64 3 962 3280