Hike Mt. Ngauruhoe & the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

New Zealand Tongariro Crossing Trailhead

Added by Betty Achrainer

This is one of the most amazing day hikes you can do in New Zealand. The views you get up there are not even close to what the pictures look like - they are way more beautiful! The bluest lakes in between the most wonderful vulcanic landscape. A mind-blowing experience!

Starting at the Tongariro Crossing Alpine carpark Mangatepopo (1120 m) you walk passing by the Soda Springs (last toilet for a long time!) up to the South Crater which will take you about 2-2.5 hours. From here you can take a side trip to Mount Ngauruhoe summit (2287 m) which will take you about 2.5 h return. It's a steep volcano and the surface is mainly loose rock and stones!

From the South Crater you walk by the Red Crater and you could take another (shorter and easier side track) to Mt. Tongariro (1.20 h return). At this point you can already see the incredible Emerald Lakes, which you'll pass by on your way up to the Blue Lake - stay here for a while it is amazing - then you make your long way down (around 3 hours) to Ketetahi shelter and then to Ketetahi parking area. On the way you have great views onto Lake Taupo and the Te Maari steam coming out of a crater.

Without Mt. Ngauruhoe the Crossing will take you 6-7.5 hours, with the volcano it might take you around 8-9 hours, depending on your personal fitness. TIP: Take the earliest shuttle from Discovery Lodge and you will be dropped off at the start (6 am) before everyone else. Otherwise you will walk the Track literally with hundreds of people.

Pack List

  • Good shoes!
  • Multiple layers for every weather (it can change fast up there)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Plenty of water (min. 2 L) there is non on the way
  • Food for the whole day
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Hiking, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Point-to-Point

Distance:

14.9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

4101.1 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

There's A Reason It's So Popular

I've done it four times. The diversity of terrain and sights is almost unmatched for a walk this short. Ngauruhoe is a great walk in itself, I would recommend doing this separately rather than combining unless you are extremely fit. My advice would be do it during the week, hit the trail early and if there's any chance the weather might be poor or compromise viz postpone, it's not worth it. Poles are worthwhile to protect those knees down the otherside. Finally, treat it with respect, it's an alpine hike. Be prepared for weather changes, no cotton, no jeans, no trainers.

about 2 months ago

about 1 year ago

Enjoyable one-day hike

Hiking up on Mt. Ngauruhoe is a must on this hike. High boots are recommendable, otherwise your feet will be filled with small rocks very soon. Hike gets extremely crowded in December.

about 1 year ago

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack the Dusky Track

New Zealand / Dusky Track Southern Terminal

The Dusky Track is a tough and extraordinarily beautiful multi-day hike in central Fiordland. The trail is a one-way hike, with both the northern and southern terminal usually being accessed by boat.

Erik Nilsson
5 Saves

Hike to the Ben Nevis Summit in New Zealand

New Zealand / Ben Nevis Car Park

First thing first, you definitely need a 4WD to reach the car park. The gravel road starts at the beginning of the Pig valley rd.

Thib Muller
2 Saves

Hike to the Mt. Brown Hut and Mt. Brown Summit

New Zealand / Mount Brown Track

This trail is unique in that it is community run, solely by volunteers.  The track starts at a signposted car park just short of an hour east of Hokitika.

Erik Nilsson
4 Saves