Experience the dramatic alpine and volcanic landscapes of World Heritage Area Tongariro National Park, with a small group and experienced local guide. Walk the unforgettable Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Significant cultural heritage combined with arid badlands, crater lakes, sparkling rivers, breath-taking lunar landscapes, native beech forest and alpine meadows – this New Zealand walking tour is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!
A morning departure on the Northern Explorer to arrive at National Park midday. Transfer to the Chateau with the rest of the day free. This evening a welcome dinner.
A coach transfer to the starting point then a day of walking in what is often described as New Zealand’s greatest day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape.
Today is a reserve day for the crossing.
Mid-morning departure for the station for the return train journey.
Mangatepopo Valley- Soda Springs Grade: Easy - 1 / 1.5 Hours
Beginning at Mangatepopo Valley The track follows a stream and the edges of old lava flows towards the valley head. Look out for varying patches of vegetation that reveal the age of the surrounding lava rock.
Soda Springs - South Crater Grade: Moderate – Difficult – 40/60 Minutes
At the head of the valley, the trail becomes steeper, climbing from the valley to Mangatepopo Saddle between the mountains of Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Stunning panoramic views look out over the volcanic terrain. On a clear day, you can see as far as Mount Taranaki.
South Crater - Red Crater Grade: Moderate – Difficult -1 Hour
The trail leads from South Crater upwards towards Red Crater, the highest point of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The smell of sulphur is a reminder that this crater is still active.
Red Crater - Emerald Lakes Grade: Moderate - 30 Minutes
From here you begin the descent, past the stunning Emerald Lakes. This is the highlight of the track and a great place to pause for photos. The brilliant colour that gives them their name is caused by minerals leaching from the surrounding thermal environment.
Emerald Lakes - Ketetahi Shelter Grade: Moderate - 1 Hour
The trail continues over Central Crater to the old volcanic vent of Blue Lake, before it rounds the flanks of North Crater and descends to Ketetahi.
Ketetahi Shelter - Road Grade: Moderate - 2 Hours
The final section through private land is a long descent through tussock slopes to cool green forest, a refreshing change to the volcanic landscape.
A coach transfer returns you to the Chateau for a reminisence dinner
· Return Northern Explorer Train
· Three nights Chateau Tongariro
· Cooked breakfast daily
· Lunch on the train Day 1
· Packed lunch on Tongariro crossing day
· Dinner each evening
· Pukekohe Travel escort subject to 15 persons travelling
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
• Items of a personal nature
• Optional Cancellation Insurance
• A non-refundable deposit of $200 per person will secure a place on this trip
• Final payment to be made by 15 January 2021
• Final payment – non-refundable
• We strongly advise all participants to take out suitable travel insurance to cover cancellation costs.
• Please ask for a quote
The Tongariro land mass was formed by a multitude of eruptions from at least six different cones which all share the same alignment. The oldest lava started flowing about 275,000 years ago, near what is now the Tama Lakes on the southern flanks of Mt Ngauruhoe. The eruptions continued for the next 200,000 years until the Ice Age. As the ice retreated, it carved out valleys clearly visible in the lower Mangatepopo and Oturere valleys.Red Crater and Mt Ngauruhoe are the most recently formed features on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.Red Crater was formed about 3000 years ago. It lies within a scoria cone which rests on top of the older Tongariro lava flows. The red colour is due to the presence of oxidised iron in the rock.The most recent confirmed volcanic activity from Red Crater was reported between 1855 and 1890. The dike on the Southern Wall has been exposed by erosion. Lava would have flowed through this dike and poured into the Oturere Valley. Mt Ngauruhoe is the youngest volcano in the area having begun to form about 2,500 years ago.
• To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, A moderate to good level of fitness is required. It is a 19.4km walk which starts with a staged climb to Red Crater. You will be climbing nearly 800m in altitude to 1900m above sea level. The walk will take approx. 7-8 hours. Sturdy footwear is required.
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change