Already tourists have returned amazed at the crowding and cars parked up the access roads at both the usual start at Mangatepopo Road end and at the finish beyond the Ketetahi Road end and parked out onto State Highway 46. Crazy stuff!
This has also been due to so many unsuitably windy or cloudy or colder days when shuttle bus operators had cancelled and several days of tourists were accumulated into the first fine day.
One shuttle bus operator now has their first shuttle bus leaving from the Ketetahi Road end at 5.30 am (!) to try to beat the crowds. It is a ridiculous situation.
For a full detailed description of the crossing – the most popular one day walk in NZ – got to DOC (Department of Conservation)) website:
The one thing they fail to mention (their website info may be a few years old?) is the crowding and parking hassles…
Below is a brief TRM video prepared by Kiki about two years ago to warn of the rapidly changing weather patterns that are normal at Alpine altitude.
The next brief video is to encourage more trampers towards some of the other walking tracks to reduce the pressure on the Tongariro Crossing – in particular the ascent of Mt. Ruapehu is a better challenge during summer months. TRM also recommend a combo of three varying walks – a (1 hour) river walk, a (2 hours) tramp around a hidden lake and the (2 hours) alpine walk to a waterfall (which features in the next clip) which is a far preferable option for days when the weather looks ‘dicky’.