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Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Walking Legends

Mt Nguaruhoe and the Red Crater

What is the experience?

This is a memorable guided day walk through geothermal-activity-formed landscapes you will recognise from the Lord of The Rings trilogies. Known as New Zealand’s greatest day walk the Tongaririo Alpine crossing is a 19km day hike that can take anywhere between 7-9 hours depending on your fitness. Your knowledgeable guide will take you across the crossing and provide lunch and snacks along the way. The hike starts through the Mangatepopo Valley heading over old lava flows out to the Soda Springs - a desert oasis of yellow buttercups and white foxgloves.

The track continues across the Mangatepopo Saddle with spectacular views of Mt Ngauruhoe and the volcanic surround. Onwards to the ‘Red Crater’ which forms the highest point on the Track at which the first site of the The Emerald Lakes, can be seen. Stained a brilliant green and blue by thermal minerals that have leeched from the surrounding area, these unusual water features are a highlight of the walk.

After passing the North Crater, the descent continues through tussocks and scree where you’ll complete the final leg of your journey with excellent views of the steaming vents.

Where is it located?

The closet towns are National Park or Whakapapa Village, situated close to Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park. Transport is provided from National Park or Whakapapa but Walking Legends can arrange transport from Taupo or Turangi, which are larger towns within easy driving distance.

The best day walk in New Zealand, Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Who would enjoy this?

Those with a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure! While you certainly don't need to be super fit, there are two challenging inclines on the track each taking up to one hour to complete. You should be able to walk at least one hour up an incline comfortably. But with Walking Legends you can also choose to turn back at any point – you’re in charge.

Interesting fact?

Is it hard? Many have done the track before you and the oldest person to walk the Crossing was 94 years old. If they can do it, you can too… Get some practice in before you come to New Zealand because the effort is worth it to experience this walk and experience a very special walking experience!