‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing: this is how I imagined New Zealand. Stunning nature that is almost to beautiful to be true. Tongariro is giving me a 7 hour sneak peak of New Zealand’s incredible landscapes!’
You haven’t been to New Zealand if you haven’t done the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on the Northern island. This one-day hike is a popular one: so make sure you start early in the morning to avoid massive crowds. Some people say it is the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, others say it is one of the best single-day treks in the world.
My alarm clock went off at 4 am and I started the walk at the finish and walked to the start of the track. More elevation to do it this way made it a bit more difficult, but even me as an untrained person could finish after a 19.4km hike and still smile. Climbs are steep and weather is unpredictable, but it is all worth it. It was cold, it was hot, I walked through snow and I had to be careful not to get sunburned: Tongariro has it all.
The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe (or Mount Doom for the LOTR fans), Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing will leave you in awe.
Prepare for the elements and check weather forecasts as the track will be closed when it’s too windy, snowy, or rainy. From different places around the track you can arrange transport to and from the track, but when you are on a budget hitchhiking is your best option.