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“The long way home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Crossing
Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
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Ranked #1 of 778 Attractions in North Island
Type: Hiking Trails, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking, Walking
Attraction details
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“The long way home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

New Zealand has it all. The worlds best beach (see previous review), and every natural beauty there is going. If your a volcanic nut like moi then the whole north island is a treat. Other worldly doesnt come close to the landscape that is the Tongariro National Park. I`d already crossed another volcanic wilderness in Hawaii, twice, but this place was another league even to those fantastic areas of the world. I`d gotten a lift to the road the skirts the south side of the big lake that is at the foot of the massive volcano that is tongariro. I again was carrying far too much weight in my pack, but when your wilderness camping around the world theres nothing else for it. The climb is very steep, but one foot in front of the the other and slowly does it, and 3-4 hours later your at the mountain hut, where most if not all sensible folk would bed down for the night. Me, I just continued up unitl the summit and bloody hell what views and spectacular scenery. Its difficult to get excited by different shades of greys and black, but thats all there is up there. This is where Lords of the Rings was used for many of the most spectacular shots, esp the battle scenes. I looked for somewhere to camp for the night, the only suitable spot was beside the volcanic blue pool, situated at the bottom of a natural ampitheatre of black, pumis rock. Proberbly the most lunatic place i`ve ever camped. My reasoning at the time was it was a water supply, it was, but that night the winds blew like the gods wanted me off and away from this most sacred of natural wonders, cheeky Englishman. The next day I tramped off the top of the high volcano and into the vast volcanic wilderness that makes up the bulk of the National park. I spent one more night, by a safer watering hole. I met only two other silly types on the trail of 30 miles and 3 days. Eventually made it to the main road, and after a short while, got a good hitch hike out of there and onto Wellington and civilisation once more, onto further adventures around this blessed world of ours. To read more please refer to my forth coming book of the same title, The Long Way Home, or my published adventure on the Appalachian Trail called the Brits Version of the Appalachian Trail, enjoy!!

Visited September 2013
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Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Must See!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

Great experience! Would advise any at least moderately fit people to do it. Stunning views and a really fantastic walk. Shuttle service from the YHA was very good too. Definitely a must if you're in NZ and love the mountains.

Visited June 2014
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San Carlos, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A Truly Amazing Walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

I was on the north island of New Zealand in May, so we were getting towards the end of season and it was getting cold. I wore 5 layers (2 t-shirts, shirt, sweatshirt and a flannel hoodie) and the wind still cut through me at times, so you MUST be prepared to dress for the occasion. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience. Wow. Walking across extinct volanic craters, past the base of Mt. Doom of Lord of the Rings fame, along ridgelines and looking over into the valley below. The Devil's Staircase was tough but not as tough as, say, the Annapurna Trek in Nepal. Words are inadequate. It's about 19kms (about 12 miles) total. it will take between 6-7 hours to do and you should plan to have someone pick you up at the end because the parking lot at the end is NOT the one you started at. I stayed at Ohakune overnight. carrot capital of New Zealand and apres-ski center par excellence, maybe 45 minute ride in the morning.

Visited May 2014
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Queenstown, New Zealand
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014 via mobile

Make sure that you got your shuttle/transport/pick-up sorted before you leave as you cannot book them during the day (hence, my group only went half way before we had to return to our car).
As we were climbing up the mountain it was very cloudy with poor visibility and we didn't quite know what views we were missing out on. But once we were up in a valley just before the final climb it cleared up and the view was so beautiful. Everything was covered in snow and wie werde simple stunned.
If you go during winter prober hiking boots are the better option, our feet were soaking wet as we had running shoes. But hey, not complaining, we had a lot of fun!

Visited May 2014
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Highlight of The North Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

If there was one activity that really stood out for me and my friend on our trip around the North Island of NZ it was the Tongarrio Crossing!
We were a bit nervous about doing this walk as the cold was really starting to set in and there had been snow the day before our trip. My friend and I are fit and active but have only done a couple of shorter hikes so not what I would call fully experienced, We called a few companies to see if we needed poles and crampons and even a guide, but were informed that we were boarder-line ok with the weather, but were advised if it got too icey to turn back.

As we were at the end of our trip and on a very tight budget we decided to risk it and head out by ourselves. Of course we were prepared, rucksack, first aid kit and good walking boots, and as the temperatures were starting at -6c at points we were very glad of our waterproof ski jackets and thermal leggings and tops. Under my ski jacket I wore a long sleeved thermal, light hoody, jeggings over the top of thermals leggings, would have preferred loose trousers but I didn't have any . We took 1 litre of water each, lots of food, and extra layers and supplies with us just in case. We did see people in just trainers who were struggling with the cold and climb and another mad-man in heavy Jeans- don't do it!

We were SO lucky with the weather, we actually waited a day to start our trip to avoid the grey skies which we were told can really put a damper on your trip. We had freezing temperatures but cloudless blue skies and sunshine. We stared from Taupo at 7am and began our walk at 8am, parking in the more southerly car park, we finished in the North Car Park and took a shuttle back to the beginning you don't have to book, but its best if you do, there is only one company that does the shuttle and its $30 EACH. The car parks are not secure so hide your valuables, but there's lot of people doing the same so our car felt reasonably safe.

The climb itself is hard work but not impossible, I'd say you need to be moderately fit (there's a lot of stairs and the peak climb is really steep) but we completed the trip in 6 hours 45 mins.Others really rook their time with lots of breaks and did it in about 8-9 hours. The scenery is AMAZING I loved every out-of-breath minute of this walk, it was snowy when we went which I think made it even better. There's lots of people on this track so you are never really by yourself (great if your a little nervous not so much if you like to hike alone), there are basic toilets at either end of the crossing but NOTHING in between (that's about 4-5 hours of no toilets) so make use of the facilities when possible, don't take toilet roll and 'pee in the bushes' there are no bushes and lumps of toilet roll behind rocks is disgusting and terrible for the environment.

I would advise everyone to do this, you will be knackered afterwards but its so worth it.

Visited May 2014
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