The Ultimate Guide to the New Zealand Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing - Parklands Motor Lodge

Turangi Accommodation Located Just 20 minutes From the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Welcome to Parklands Motor Lodge Turangi. Locally owned and operated, we can provide you with all you need to know about making the crossing. Read on below for details. Don't forget to keep us in mind when you are booking your Turangi accommodation - you can find links at the bottom of this page to contact us or book directly online.

Hike The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a part of New Zealand’s oldest national park and is a dual heritage site, it is often referred to as one of the best day hikes in the world. At roughly 20 kilometres the trek will have you climbing steep volcanic mountains and exposed ridgelines, whilst enjoying some of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring scenery New Zealand had to offer.

This trek isn’t for the faint of heart, the trek winds over three volcanic peaks (Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu) and takes between 5 and 8 hours to complete. However, the sites you will see and the rewarding feeling of finishing this trek will make it well worth the effort. Below is everything you’ll need to know if you’re thinking about embarking on this fantastic one of a kind trek.

Some Of The Sites

As you walk through the Mangatepopo Valley to Soda Springs you’ll be able to spot the different lava flows from the Ngauruhoe volcano. While hiking toward South Crater, you’ll climb the Devil’s staircase, and on a good day be able to see across the valley’s and farmland all the way to Mount Taranaki on New Zealand’s west coast. Just over the halfway mark, you’ll find the Emerald Lake, named because of its greenstone colour, just remember that the minerals that make it such a beautiful colour also make it acidic and cold, so it’s not suitable for drinking or swimming. As you near the end of the hike you’ll be treated to superb views of Lakes Taupo and Rotoaira, as well as the welcoming canopy of the popocarp-hardwood forest.

Hiking the Trail

The trail takes between 5 and 8 hours to complete and the best time to hike the track is between December and March when the track is usually clear of snow. This track is an alpine environment and the weather can change quickly, so pack extra equipment and if you don’t have experience with this kind of hiking, take someone who does; there are plenty of guides and tours that can help with this. It’s recommended that you use supportive hiking boots and wear comfortable hiking clothes, have a spare set of dry clothes and a good rainproof jacket. Also make sure your pack includes high energy food, drinking water, sun-protection and is comfortable to carry all day long.

For more information on preparing for this epic hike, the Department of Conservation has a comprehensive list and plenty of tips. The Department of Conservation also has an app you can download, that gives you photos, videos, maps, and safety messages, as well as all the information you could need about the Tongariro Crossing. 


For transport services please visit Tongariro Expeditions website for more information. If you choose to stay with us, we can take care of this for you.

Staying at Parklands Motor Lodge Accommodation in Turangi

Let the team at Parklands Motor Lodge help you complete this once in a lifetime trek. We can help you arrange transport to and from the hiking trail, as well as help you find the perfect guides, rest stops and even help you get that high energy food that will keep you going. Our rooms are also the perfect place to get that well-needed rest before and after completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

Give us a call and start planning one of the most amazing trips of your lifetime. Or simply click the button below to book online today.

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