Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Reviews
Best action attraction in NZ! Mar 24, 2011
I did this "tramp" in 2010, with 3 dutch backpackers I met in Lake Taupo. We stayed in a hostel in Turangi about an hours drive from the start of the National Park. We woke up (very painfully!) at 5am the next morning to start at 6am. You start the walk at Mangatepopo Hut and the walk takes 8-9 hours, the highlight being the craters, emarald and blue lake and the peak on Mt Tongariro. We decided early on to "scramble" up the scree formations to get to the peak... not to be underestimated!
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Amazing Tongariro Alpine Crossing May 24, 2011
Rated as the world's finest day hike. 19.4km point to point hike. the best time to start hiking is 6am.
you will be amaze with the spectacular volcanic geography, from an active crater to steaming vents and beautiful coloured lakes. For convenience most people take a shuttle to the start and back from the finish. For more adventure u can hitch hike from the the finishing point to the starting point.
We finish at 6pm and we it was already dark. we did not book a shuttle because we plan to hitch hike. we manage to hitch hike with a very kind hearted maori man who was on the way for fishing. they turn back to send us to the starting point to get our car.
According to them, almost everyday people will stand at the roadside to get a hitch hike. the shuttle is quite expensive. $25 for one way to the starting point.
Tongariro Crossing Trek.
1. Mangatepopo Car Park - Soda Spring
Easy, allow 1-2 hours. At the beginning the land is flat. The toilet facilities also available here. You will able to see the edge of old lava flows. You will notice the chance in plants as u clim in altitude. the last toilet stop is at Soda Spring until u get the Ketetahi Hut which is about 4-5 hours from Soda Spring.
2. Soda Spring - South Crater
Moderate, allow 45 minutes to 1 hour. Climbing up from 1400meter to 1600meter above the sea level, known as the devil staircase. On a clear day, the view is well worth it. You will see Mt. Ngauruhoe, a shooting location in Lord of The Ring. Known as Mt Doom in LOTR. you can make a decision to climb up Mt Ngauruhoe if weather is fine.
3. South Crater - Red Crater
Moderate, allow 1 hour to 1.5 hours. You have spectacular views over the Oturere Valley, Rangipo Desert, Kaimanawa Ranges and down to the emerale lakes, but it can be a little scary on a windy day.
4. Red Crater - Blue Lake
Moderate, 30 minutes.
Grade: Moderate 30 minutes. You need to be very careful when u reach this part. the track is steep and you are on loose scoria which can move under foot. You will get to see Emerald Lakes, the colour is caused by minerals leached from the surrounding rock. Then you will climb up to Blue Lake, a cold acidic lake.
5. Blue lake - Ketetahi Hut
Moderate, 1 hour - 1.5 hours. The outlook will change, in a good weather u will able to see Mt Pihanga and Lake Rotoaira to Lake Taupo. The way down to Ketetahi Hut is a zig zag, the ground can be quite boggy, and the pumice base is easily eroded, please keep on main track.
6. Ketetahi Hut - Ketetahi car park
Moderate, 2 - 3 hours. Some part down to the Ketetahi car park is a private land. So visitor are advice to keep on track. You will see a waterfall a few minutes before reaching the car park.
Minimum gear to bring. Water proof jacket, torch light, sturdy shoes, food, energy drink, glove.
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