Update 9 am – Warning – Tongariro Expeditions have cancelled all shuttle bus services to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for the next two days due to wet weather. So for TRM guests planning to tramp the Tongariro Crossing at Easter the crowding will be severe…
Tourists from Tongariro River Motel departing for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on Sunday.
At the time of taking the photo they were all naturally concerned about the weather prospects for the crossing, with heavy grey overcast conditions and light rain threatening in Turangi. (Compare the weather in their lower image taken at the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.) So it is always sensible to have a “Plan B” – just in case.
SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything – except trout fishing – at TRM) provides a unique guiding service for tourist guests which always offers several other options.
So often there are guests determined to walk the Tongariro Crossing, almost regardless of the conditions. The most popular one day walk in NZ has become a ‘must-do’ on their bucket list. But it becomes a bit of a lottery from now on as the summer draws to a close. SWMBO usually has to make a decision each morning depending on the weather.
Early in the morning, when it is usually cold and dark and overcast and rain threatening, it is almost impossible to convince guests how they will probably (?) be above the clouds in sunny conditions on the crossing. Not always, but often this happens.
As with any alpine environment the weather can deteriorate very quickly without warning so Hannah makes sure all tourists are well equipped with extra warm coats and plenty of water and sun protection etc.
But tourists still need an escape plan – a “plan B” – as well.
There is nothing worse for SWMBO than to recommend the crossing to guests who return wet and cold, miserable and depressed at the end of the day, having only seen the next marker post for 19 km.
Two other issues of concern to tourists are the crowding on the Tongariro Crossing on weekends and car security when ares are left at the finish. One shuttle bus operator – Tongariro Expeditions – http://www.tongariroexpeditions.com/?gclid=CILh_ZHgzcsCFU4IvAodY1cIag – now has their own car park which is patrolled every day. On their website is a live camera so intending hikers can see what the weather is doing over the hill before they leave TRM.
So that is where Hannah accompanies them as TRM’s tour guide – in addition she provides them alternative options to the crossing. She ensures they can still have a great day out up on the Tongariro National Park, even if they do not ‘tick the box’ for the crossing. Hannah’s alternative trips more than compensate.
The most popular alternative is usually to carry on south to Whakapapa – approx. 50 km from Turangi – to hike the Taranaki Falls loop track for two hours, then drive up Mt. Ruapehu to Iwikau Village for a ride up the ski lift to the highest cafe in NZ, then return via a two hour walk around the hidden Lake Rotopounamu (Greenstone Lake).
For Lord of the Rings fans the 20 minute walk to Tawhai Falls is particularly popular.
Similarly the rocky volcanic nature with steep bluffs – Pinnacle Ridge – around Iwikau Village was used to portray the battle marking the end of the second age of Middle Earth.
Another alternative to the crossing – only for when a fine day is guaranteed – is to tramp to the summit of Mt. Ruapehu (see photos). This is aimed at many who have already walked the crossing and are looking for a new challenge in the Tongariro National Park.
Everyone who have climbed to the summit claimed it was a better experience than the Tongariro Crossing.
(Wait until you see her video – can you believe snow boarding in a bikini in Winter?)
So for tourist inmates looking for a young enthusiastic guide to remove the doubts with the weather and to ensure you will have a BIG day out on the Tongariro National Park, then you will need to book Hannah well in advance.
As you can see above her weekends usually get booked out.
The Sunday group were uncertain whether to attempt the crossing until they reached the start about 10 am when the clouds were burnt off and a fine day emerged. Just perfect…
Meanwhile, SWMBO promises the photo below is nothing at all to do with carp farming. OK?
This is Hannah from TRM feeding trout at the Trout Centre farm (definitely not a carp farm) while guiding Vic. from Florida USA, biking around the Tongariro River Trail loop track on Saturday.
But as indicated above she is much more than just a Tongariro fishing guide.