Tongariro National Park Travel Answers

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wondering2's Profile Photo

Tongariro Crossing Tips

by wondering2 Online Now Jan 3, 2006 at 7:57 AM

We are planning to do the Tongariro Crossing but have a few questions.
Besides the huts I see on the map, are there any "water stations" during the hike somewhere? Wondering how much water to pack. We intend on doing the trek in one day.

What is the bus service like? I guess what I'm asking is if it's pretty reliable and what happens if we miss the pick up bus at the end of the hike? Should we try to leave our car there at the end of the trail and possibly hire someone to take us to the starting point instead?

One question, kind of off the subject..... We're renting a car while we are there and have read a lot about the destructive birds, Kea, and how they can/will damage cars (windshield wipers, etc.) Do they sell a "Kea repellent" (ha!) there? I know it sounds like a funny question but it seems like that would be a great invention if they do not. Here in Texas, they sell all sorts of "natural" type repellents for pesky rodents, etc.

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6 Answers
  • allikat's Profile Photo

    RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by allikat Online Now Jan 3, 2006 at 1:51 PM

    Hi,

    I did the Crossing with a couple of other VTers last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself,

    There aren't water stations apart from what is available at the huts - this is high, rugged and remote ground, so you will need to carry what you need with you.

    The place we stayed at did early drop offs for those who wanted them, we were on the track by 6.20am, and because we took our time and took a LOT of photos (we were fortunate and had glorious weather) we took 10 hours to do the crossing! Most people take less (seemingly 5-7 hours is common), but we weren't the last on our bus and had to wait for a few stragglers. The policy with our bus was that the last one of the day DID NOT LEAVE without all paries being accounted for, and I would suspect this would be a general policy amongst the other operators. Check with yours to make sure.

    Although we had clear blue skies the whole day, it was VERY cold and windy up around Red Crater and near the summit. Remember that the weather can change rapidly, and for the worst, so have wet weather gear with you, and good stout boots. The crossing isn't technically challenging at all, but you will need reasonable fitness. I'm sure you will have a great time - I will definitely be doing it again. If you want to take a look at some of my pics see "Tongariro!" - Tongariro National Park by allikat

    As for the Kea - yes they can be a bit pesky, but nothing too major that Ive experienced and no, there isn't a repellant lol!! I saw them while doing the drive through Arthurs Pass, but all the cars were more or less in one piece!

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  • wondering2's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by wondering2 Online Now Jan 4, 2006 at 6:53 AM

    Wow. Thanks for all the good advice. And the tips on your pages are great. You've really done a nice job on your travel journals. Thanks again. PS. How LUCKY ARE YOU to live there? I'm so jealous.
    :D

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  • allikat's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by allikat Online Now Jan 4, 2006 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks! Yeah, I'm pretty lucky to be here :-) Have a great trip, let us know how you get on.

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  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by kiwigal_1 Online Now Jan 4, 2006 at 1:38 PM

    Hi there,

    I was going to respond much along the same lines as Ali so eloquently has done! The Crossing is great fun and I am sure you will have a great time! I did it at Easter a couple of years ago and it took us 8 hours. We had to wait quite a long time at the end for the buses. I have heard that some cars have been broken into at the carpark so better to use the bus services. Make sure you take plenty of food and water with you and warm gear.

    Cheers,
    Rhianon

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  • wondering2's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by wondering2 Online Now Jan 4, 2006 at 3:37 PM

    Thanks Rhianon.... I'll let you know how we do!! We are really getting excited now.

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  • rite_of_spring's Profile Photo

    RE: Tongariro Crossing Tips

    by rite_of_spring Online Now Jan 4, 2006 at 10:02 PM

    Hello all, it brings back my good memories :) I did it in dec 2004 and it was still snowing occasionally.

    you'll have to bring your own food and drinks. regarding the bus service, you'll have to confirm with the agent that you've booked with. usually the bus will depart at around 7am-8am and the last bus service will be around 5-6pm (correct me if i'm wrong). the bus driver will have a list of every climber's name and he'll check out each of the climber accordingly.

    if you're interested to to the side trips, ie. climb the mt. ngauruhoe (2000m+) or mt. tongariro summit (about 1900m, you'll have to allow extra time for your journey. it would be better to inform your bus driver/ agent.

    didn't manage to do the northern circuit but heard from other climbers that it's impressive. hope can do it in the future :)

    enjoy the climb! happy new year! cheers!

    regards,
    lee

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