Tongariro Crossing, North Island New Zealand. The Tongariro Crossing is in the Tongariro National Park. Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand and is recognised as a World Heritage site.
How to get to the Tongariro Crossing
There are two car parks for the Tongariro Crossing. You should definitely start at “Mangatepopo Carpark”.
There are two ways to get there: either by bus (which will cost you around 30$ NZD depending on where you come from) or by car. (You can either buy a car in New Zealand if you plan on staying longer or rent a car or hitchhike, which is pretty common).
The hike itself is totally free! You just need to pay for the transportation as it takes approximately 30 minutes to drive to the nearest town.
Where to stay
You can stay at a campsite nearby. Please check if they have tents because otherwise you have to bring your own.
The closest towns are probably “Turangi” and “National Park Village”. You will find a lot of hostels there (especially for backpackers who travel on a budget).
How much time will you need there
The Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most famous day hikes; and rightfully so, as the scenery is exceptionally beautiful.
If you want to take your time you should definitely expect it to take around 7-8 hours (depending on your level of fitness of course).
For the ambitious hikers out there the crossing offers several additional routes. Expect these to add a substantial amount of time to your hike. For more information got to: http://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz
When to visit
We were there around 6:30 and half an hour later the carpark was almost full.
The carpark Mangatepopo has surprisingly few parking spots. I advise you to arrive really early before the masses come flocking.
A little advice for beginners: don’t let the length of this hike discourage you! Your efforts will be rewarded so don’t miss the stunning views it offers!