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Day walks

Tongariro crossing – Central North Island

  • 1 minute

Tongariro, Turangi

The rock star, a must-do walk that embraces alpine scenery, gentle mountain rock climbs and volcanic activity in a day. The stunning contrast has captured the imagination of visitors to New Zealand.


  • Distance: 4 km one way.
  • Time Needed: 7 – 8 hr in summer, 8 – 9 in winter.
  • Location: Tongariro National Park
  • Starts: Mangatepopo Car Park
  • Ends: Ketetahi Car Park

Mountain Safety has a brilliant youtube clip which answers most questions.

The accessibility of an ancient volcanic zone is a world beating place to go.

About Tongariro National Park. The crossing is part of Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park. The Tongariro Crossing is a spiritual and cultural landmark for New Zealanders, with its World Heritage status recognising both the Maori significance of this natural wonder as well as its unique volcanic features. The park is home to three active volcanic mountains – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, as well as  iconic and majestic landscapes.

In 1990, Tongariro was nominated for both natural and cultural World Heritage status. and was inscribed on the heritage list that year for its natural values.

Tongariro crossing in winter, mount Ngauruhoe, the great walk, New Zealand, Tonagriro National park
Tongariro crossing in winter

At that time the criteria for cultural World Heritage sites stipulated that there be some tangible evidence of cultural use of the site e.g. a temple, habitation, etc. Ngauruhoe is famous globally for being Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies… LEARN MORE Tongariro Crossing.

Difficulty: Medium, there are two challenging ascents and alpine weather conditions throughout the year. For tips on recommended clothing and supplies check North Island ultimate day walks, what to wear, supplies and fitness required. Remember to check the local weather report before departing.


Short walks departing from the historic Chateau Tongariro Hotel (CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE) give you a taste of what the Tongariro crossing has to offer.


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