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Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Experiences & Tips

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“Probably the most beautiful hike in New Zealand”, many say. And we have to admit: they are not entirely wrong. One thing is certain: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing requires a bit of fitness, but is doable for almost everyone. Would you also like to do the trek and want to know what to expect? Then keep reading. We’ll tell you a few tips.

1. Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Tips for Access & Accommodation The tiny place Ohakune is a good starting point for the hike. We stayed at the Station Lodge, which is a kind of youth hostel but also has double rooms. The owners were very friendly, the rooms were simple but clean, and the huge kitchen was well equipped. We stayed two nights – we used the full day for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

The area surrounding the accommodation was very idyllic, despite the railway tracks being in the immediate vicinity, and the abundance of greenery and we loved the view of the mountains. Only downside: Our room was very cold! We were very cold, especially at night, despite the reasonably thick blankets. There is no heating there in the summer and the New Zealanders probably found the prevailing weather to be midsummer. They probably never dreamed of heating.

By the way, we had the Stefan Loose travel guide for New Zealand with us as a travel guide. We got along really well with that. Clear recommendation!

2. The right gear for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Shoes: Sturdy shoes are highly recommended. It doesn’t have to be half-height mountain boots. We chose our Scarpa shoes. They really are perfect for this hike. Side note: we also saw two people wearing flip flops. We would definitely not recommend!Jacket: It is best to bring a windproof and waterproof jacket with you. It can be extremely windy to stormy at the top of the mountain. We would recommend a warm sweater or jacket underneath.Pants: Depending on the season, it doesn’t necessarily have to be long pants. For example, Kathi was wearing 3/4 leggings (sports trousers) and Romeo was wearing shorts at all. Meals: Take enough water with you (at least 1 .5 liters per person). We also had nuts, biscuits and sandwiches with us. There is no possibility to buy anything on the mountain!Sunglasses, Sunscreen and Cap should also be in your luggage. If you do the hike in winter, then It is best to get tips on equipment from your accommodation. The hike leads over alpine terrain, you should not forget that. 3. Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Itinerary & Field Report The hike starts: First comfortably We were picked up by a bus around seven in the morning . Originally there was a public car park (Mangatepopo Carpark), which is now closed to private cars. This means you can park your car a few kilometers away and walk to the start of the hike, or book a ride with one of the local bus companies. It’s annoying that you can’t avoid the bus ride, unless you’re prepared to walk a lot longer. If the entire route is open (which is not always the case), you have to think of an alternative anyway, because in this case the hike ends at a completely different point (Ketetahi Carpark).

Back to the hike: First of all, it’s just going there, almost too easy, one might think. First thought from us, who were only moderately sporty, but very enthusiastic: ” Well, I don’t think it could be a bit more demanding. ” It will be, don’t worry.

The first steep ascent After 1.5 hours you reach the last toilet and from this point it’s all uphill. Mostly there are stairs – after all, the older semesters also want to get something out of the hike. Thoughts that you had in the valley no longer appear here. In the meantime, a “When will we finally be up there?” is chasing the next. Or as the owner of our accommodation put it so beautifully: “You go up, up and up. And when you think you’re almost there, then you go up, up and up again.” There is no better way to describe this section of the route.

A small detail (we don’t want to take away the illusion from you, but it should be said): You are not alone, because on an average day about 1.500 other hobby climbers same route. After about 2 hours we reached the Mountain of Destiny from Lord of the Rings. The landscape is simply amazing!

The way to the summit The last section was the steepest and windiest. Scree and stones made things slippery, which we were not entirely harmless found. At the latest with the view of the Emerald Lakes and the Blue Lake, however, all efforts were forgotten .

Take enough water from the place and Food with you, you’ll need it when you get to the top and there’s absolutely no chance of anything eatable or drinkable along the way! We had sandwiches, nuts and biscuits and 3 liters of water for both of us. Although it was totally cold and windy, this moment up there at the summit was one of the most impressive of our New Zealand trip. The view was just indescribable, unreal, surreal.

Since the route from the Emerald Lakes is unfortunately due to volcanic activity was blocked, the descent was the same way back as I said. That was a bit “boring” – if one can speak of boring at all in the environment. But we just would have liked to walk the rest of the way. Well, it doesn’t matter, at least we could see from above what we had walked uphill.

Back to Ohakune The return to Ohakune is again by bus. The bus will tell you a time when it wants to leave the parking lot. By then you should be back in the valley. But don’t worry, first of all, the time is calculated really generously and secondly, the driver has a list with all your names and won’t drive back without you.

Unless you are an extreme athlete , at best don’t plan anything for the rest of the day, because we were really exhausted in the evening. Above all, the wind and the cold had added to us. Nevertheless, this hike was just incredibly impressive and we would do it again anytime if we could.

4. More New Zealand tips from us All New Zealand items at a glanceOur route through New ZealandNew Zealand Travel Tips 2013Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you already done the Tongariro Alpine Crossing? How did you like it? We look forward to hearing about your additional tips and experiences in the comments!