Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Crossing Emerald alnd Blue Lakes

Tongariro River Motel is the ideal base camp for the Crossing

Did you know:

fish-bulletTRM have a special Tongariro Crossing "qualifying walk". If you cannot complete this circuit from TRM in less than one hour then you are not allowed on the track. It is for the safety of guests. We cannot afford to lose guests. It is not a good look...
fish-bulletTRM have walking poles available for guests - a range of old ski poles plus additional clothing - hats, jackets, gloves, etc available for guests who arrive unprepared for the colder weather or the wind chill factor at higher altitudes. It is essential to be prepared - better to have and not need, than need and not have...
fish-bulletWeather forecasts for the Tongariro Crossing and other parts of the region are available from our Links page.
fish-bulletThe local iSite has a video and full information packs on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. A recommended place to start.
fish-bulletThe Tongariro Alpine Crossing is "closed" for about 20% of the summer and about 80% of the winter. By "closed" we mean the shuttle buses will not be running. Therefore allow a couple of days in your planning to make sure you pick only the best weather.
fish-bulletTRM have an alternative option programme for days when the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is closed, involving three different walks:
  1. Starting from TRM is a one hour Tongariro RIver Walk with good views over Turangi and across the river swing bridge.
  2. A two hour walk around a hidden lake
  3. A two hour alpine loop walk to a spectacular waterfall.
In fact, some who have done the Tongariro Alpine Crossing vote the three track option as a superior experience.
fish-bulletThe famous Turangi Bakery opens very early for trekkers to stock up with lunch etc.

As you can see, TRM really is the ideal base camp for the Tongrariro Alpine Crossing.

About the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

One of the biggest tourist attractions in the Tongariro National Park - a dual World Heritage Area - is The Tongariro Alpine Crossing. With over 70,000 walkers each year it qualifies as the most popular walk in NZ.


Although the TAC can be walked in either direction, it is most commonly walked from Mangatepopo to Ketetahi Hot Springs, due to the Mangatepopo end being higher in altitude (1,120 m or 3,670 ft) than the Ketetahi Hot Springs end (760 m or 2,490 ft), therefore requiring less climbing. The 19.4 km crossing takes about seven hours of steady walking to complete in good weather, with an hour extra required if walked from the Ketetahi end to allow for the extra climbing, and more time required in winter (April to October) or in bad weather. The keenest also climb Mt. Doom! Trampers therefore need to arrange transportation back from one car park to the other or arrange a shuttle bus.

If you have a car the best option is to arrange for you to be collected by the bus from the Ketetahi car park to take you to the Mangatepopo car park as the buses stop there on their way. Then you do not have any time pressure to complete the tramp. A group of trampers with two vehicles can easily arrange transportation themselves by parking one of the vehicles at the Ketetahi end of the crossing before commencing at the Mangatepopo end, returning to Mangatepopo end by road after completing the crossing to pick up the other vehicle. But beware, car parking spaces are very limited so get there early.

Tontariro Alpine Crossing Information

PointDistanceTimeAltitudeCoordinates
Mangatepopo Carpark0.0 km (0.0 mi)0h 00m1,120 m (3,670 ft)39°08′40″S 175°34′52″E
Mangatepopo Hut1.5 km (0.9 mi)0hr 25m1,190 m (3,900 ft)39°08′41″S 175°35′48″E
Soda Springs turn-off1h 30m1,350 m (4,430 ft)39°08′24″S 175°37′29″E
South Crater (Mount Ngauruhoe turn-off)6.4 km (4.0 mi)2h 30m1,650 m (5,410 ft)
Red Crater summit3h 30m1,886 m (6,188 ft)
Emerald Lakes (Oturere Hut turn-off)9.0 km (5.6 mi)3h 50m1,695 m (5,561 ft)39°07′58″S 175°39′23″E
Ketetahi Hut5h 15m1,450 m (4,760 ft)39°06′29″S 175°39′11″E
Ketetahi Carpark19.4 km (12.1 mi)7h 00m760 m (2,490 ft)39°04′25″S 175°39′50″E