The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one day alternative hike to the 3 to 4 day ‘Tongariro Northern Circuit’ hike. Part of this Tongariro Crossing follows the Northern Circuit.
This is one of the best New Zealand day hikes
The Crossing can be done in both directions. The easier one is the one that starts at Mangatepopo and finishes at the Ketetahi Road End. There is more downhill going this way. Shuttle buses operate from both ends. Of course you could start from one and walk some of the way and return to your starting point
The hike is 19km (12 miles) long and takes about 6 to 8 hours to complete.
The hike goes past Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, on the way you will also see steam vents, mineral lakes, cold water soda springs and other volcanic features.
The best time of the year to do the hike is during the summer season, from November till the middle of June. There are no shuttle buses operating during the winter and you have to be prepared for snow, ice and avalanches.