Turangi and Tongariro River Motel (“TRM”) is the natural base camp for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. i.e.
1 Did you know that TRM 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…
2 Did you know TRM 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…
3 Did you know that every day TRM post a weather forecast for the Tongariro Crossing from Tongariro Expeditions – shuttle bus operators listed on our LINKS.
5 Did you know that the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is “closed” for about 20% of the summer and about 60-70% of the winter. Therefore allow a couple of days in your planning to make sure you pick only the best weather. (If planning ahead choose a full moon – like now) We are constantly dealing with disappointed tourists who went up there in marginal weather and returned very disappointed having only seen the next marker post for about 19 km. Not funny on a freezing cold day. By being “closed” we mean the shuttle buses will not be running.
6 Did you know TRM 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, others who have done the Tongariro Alpine Crossing before, vote TRM’s three track option as a superior experience…
8 Did you know that tourists from overseas are not allowed to leave until they have “ticked that box”. At the moment TRM have two tourists from Brazil who have been waiting for five days for suitable warm clear weather to walk the Tongariro Crossing. As a result they had to cancel visits to other secondary locations like Rotorua… True! So it pays to allow a few days in your travel plans to make sure you pick a fine clear day.
OK? So you can see that TRM really is the natural base camp for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing plus a range of other walking trail options, and for fishing or rafting the Tongariro and anything else you plan to do.
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 book a shuttle bus.
(Above is info board at Turangi iSite – to book your shuttle bus service)
If you have a car the best option is to arrange for you to be collected by shuttle bus from the finish at the Ketetahi car park to take you to the start at Mangatepopo car park. 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.
PLEASE BE AWARE that the Tongariro Crossing does get very crowded – particularly after a ‘closed’ day when the tourist demand builds up. Daily counts of one or two thousand are not unusual. Recently after being closed the first fine day reportedly had over four thousand walking across… So it is not exactly a remote back-country wilderness walk. OK?
Last, another overlooked bucket list option – for a real buzz, why not climb a real mountain – Mt Ruapehu?.
It is just as easy…or just as hard. Just as exhilarating too. TRM have all the info.
(In case you were curious (?) or anxious, despite what She may claim, that is not SWMBO balancing on one leg on the Tongariro Crossing. It is Kiki – who produced the above video for TRM inmates. OK?)