World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.2 (168 votes)

Tongariro Crossing Hike

Listed under Walking in North Island, New Zealand.

  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
  • Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
Photo of Tongariro Crossing Hike
Photo by Dave and Deb
Pin It

Shortly after I arrived in New Zealand, a number of people who knew of my passion for hiking and mountaineering told me it was worth my while to hike the 19km Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Yup. They were right.

The crossing has been described as the best one-day hike in New Zealand for ages, but has gained a whole new pilgrimage since Lord of the Rings came out. The reason? This hike takes you through the heart of “Mordor”, passing by “Mount Doom” (and climbing up it, if you’re feeling energetic enough to add 2-3 hours to your day for the side track to the summit). And no, it’s not called Mount Doom in real life.

Although there was a certain appeal for me to see the desolate landscapes of “Mordor” in person, I’m not enough of a Lord of the Rings fan to have gone out of my way to do this hike for that reason alone. Instead it was the volcanic mountainous landscape, the long trek, and the promise of epic views that lured me in. Tongariro National Park wasn’t on the way to anywhere for me – I made it a dedicated trip and prayed that the weather would cooperate for the one day window I had available.

The weather wasn’t looking too good leading up to the trek either. The park had been closed all week due to high winds and snow (yes, snow) in some parts. Because of the steep exposure on some parts of the hike, as well as the high altitude, weather plays a big part in how the day goes. As with any mountainous environment, a sunny day can turn into a blizzard at any time of year, and hikers must be prepared.

So despite a week of foul weather leading up to my trip, I persevered in the hopes that the weather would break in time for my only available hiking day.

The launching point for the Tongariro Crossing is Taupo, a pretty town on a huge lake bearing the same name in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. Even so, Taupo isn’t all that close to the start of the hike (which is located in Tongariro National Park). To get there, you catch a bus at the crack of dawn (before dawn, actually), and spend the next hour and a half waking up and considering your fate with a host of other travelers in the same boat (er…bus).

Continue reading on theprofessionalhobo.

Written by  Nora Dunn.

Other expert and press reviews

“Tongariro Crossing, in Photos”

f you manage to only do one hike during your visit to New Zealand, make sure it is the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island. It is considered New Zealand’s best 1-day hike and in many circles it is considered one of the best in the world. As you… Read more...

Written by  Dave and Deb.

“Recommended by William Mackesy”

The Tongariro track traverses the dramatic bare Mangatepopo Valley between volcanic Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngauruhoe, then passes up through a basin known as the Red Crater towards the vivid blue lakes coloured by minerals leaching from the volcanic rocks… Read more...

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

“Tongariro National Park”

'In 1993 Tongariro became the first property to be inscribed on the World Heritage List under the revised criteria describing cultural landscapes. The mountains at the heart of the park have cultural and religious significance for the Maori people and s… Read more...

Written by press.

“Tramping the Tongariro Crossing”

I awoke from my slumber in Taupo to a chilly, cloudy, rainy morning. As I peered out the hostel window, I could barely see across the lake to the volcanoes I was hoping to climb. The Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage site, and home to New Zea… Read more...

Written by  David Lee. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

No travelers have told us they have been here. Have you?

Similar Experiences

  • Southern Alps via the Milford Track

    Southern Alps, South Island, New Zealand. This vast area includes Mt. Cook, where Hillary trained for Everest, as well as the…

  • Nakasendo Trail

    During Japan's feudal period the Nakasendo Trail linked Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo) via the mountains, rather than the Pacific co…

  • Walking in the Annapurna Region

    This is probably the best long distance trek in the world, no doubt. The terrain, culture and scenery are constantly changing, …

Nearby Experiences

  • Trout fishing in Taupo

    This is one of the most spectacular places for Trout fishing in the world. It makes a great place for flyfishing and because o…

  • Mt. Ruapehu

    Mt. Ruapehu is New Zealand's most frequently erupting volcano. It was responsible for the Tangiwai Disaster of Christmas Eve 19…

  • Pureora Forest Park

    'The Pureora is a magnificent forest covering the Rangitoto and Hauhungaroa Ranges, west of Lake Taupo. The giant totara, rimu,…

Related links

Contribute to this page