Tongariro National Park Travel Answers

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Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

by mperezba Online Now Nov 18, 2003 at 3:57 PM

Hi VT Members, I need information on the Tongariro Crossing. Is it really a must in my travels in the North Island? I'm not really fit, but I enjoy walking and photography. I should be arriving in the park on Dec. 20th (my birthday!!), sometime in the afternoon. I'll have to check into a hotel or the like. Any recommendations? I found some info on the Discovery Lodge. Anyone knows it? The next day should be for the crossing. I understand is a one-way 6 to 7 hour tramp. Are tracks properly marked and safe? How do I get back to the hotel (or parking lot where I started from)? Is is better to begin the walk really early in the morning (because of temperature and/or light conditions) or can I take it easy and start at 9 am? I'd be very grateful for any help. Thanks a lot!! Maria

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  • mperezba's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by mperezba Online Now Nov 18, 2003 at 5:00 PM

    Thanks for the hint! I had a look at their pages and they are really cool. Great pictures and good advice. I'll definitely write to them. Thanks, Maria

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  • mperezba's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by mperezba Online Now Nov 18, 2003 at 5:07 PM

    Thanks a lot! I love your pages too! Good travels, Maria

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  • dragontml's Profile Photo

    Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by dragontml Online Now Nov 18, 2003 at 5:34 PM

    if not wrong, it's a good 17km walk / hike. i missed this one when i was around the area cause of bad weather. a friend from home whom went on this trail said was really good. weather is quick changeable so be prepared. and you will need some bit of fitness to complete this trail. there should be other ppl going on the trail and am sure you can make friends. remember to carry some snacks and water with u. have fun !

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    Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by mountainpoet Online Now Nov 19, 2003 at 6:53 AM

    I've taking my 50 year old mother over- who is not a hiker ( lots of breaks and cups of tea). Some hotels/ hostels will be able to organise a drop off and picks for the walk. Although it is publicised as a day walk - it is a fairly challenging - you gain alot of height - which you also need to loss again at the end of the day. The weather can turn very very quickly - make sure you know the forecast!!! Regardless of being mid summer - be prepared for cold weather. I did the crossing 5 New Years Days in a row - and never the same conditions. I don't want to put you off - it is a great walk - but be prepared - talk to the Department of Conservation staff either at Whakapapa or Turangi. Start early - it is a long day. I always think it is best to start at the Mangatepopo end. The track is very well marked the whole way. If the day is nasty - then a walk up the Mangatepopo valley is still very rewarding. Any more question, just ask. Have Fun, Dennis.

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    Re: Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by mountainpoet Online Now Nov 19, 2003 at 6:56 AM

    Wow my English is really bad.... sorry. So many mistakes in that last message. Who would guess I'm an English teacher....? Teaching Phonic to 6 year olds makes you braindead - that's my excuse.

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  • mperezba's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by mperezba Online Now Nov 21, 2003 at 1:24 AM

    I can't believe it can get so cold up there in the summer! Well, thanks a lot for the hint. I'll be well prepared. The Chateau sounds really good. I checked their website. Noble place. Hopefully they not pump up their prices for the Christmas holidays. We may consider to make a reservation ahead of time anyway, not to have unpleasant surprises. Thanks, MarĂ­a

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  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo

    Re: Tongariro Crossing for Dummies ;-)

    by kiwigal_1 Online Now Nov 26, 2003 at 11:40 AM

    Hi Maria, Thank you for your email. I have finally checked on here to see your forum question. The Tongariro Crossing is a really awesome walk to do. When I did it I was quite unfit and overweight and I found it a real challenge. I walked from Mangatapopo to Katetahi. We stayed at Howards Lodge in National Park. They (for a fee) provide transportation to Mangatapopo in the morning and pick-up from the Katetahi end in the afternoon. You should take plenty of water and snacks and lunch with you. Take wet weather gear, pants that can change to shorts are good. I had a thermal vest underneath a t-shirt and then a jumper and jacket also. In the beginning I was just in the t-shirt but I needed to put the jumper and jacket on up the top. As people have mentioned the weather does close in quickly so be prepared for that! You can stay overnight in the huts at each end. This is on a first in first served basis (no reservations). The scenery is really beautiful. I recommend that you go on a fine day as it will be horribly cold and no view if it is raining etc. You are picking a time to go that is in summer here so you should be ok. The tracks are well marked and there will be MANY people doing the crossing at the same time as you so you are unlikely to get lost. Enjoy! Rhianon

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