Further section of Tongariro Alpine Crossing to reopen
Date: 07 March 2013
The Department of Conservation is pleased to announce the opening of a further section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This will take effect from Saturday 9 March 2013.
DOC Acting Area Manager Bhrent Guy says this is exciting news as it extends the open section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from the beautiful Emerald Lakes to the pass between Blue Lake and North Crater. Although it is only approximately another 1.5 km it will allow visitors to have a great view to the north towards Lake Taupō and the Rotoaira Basin.
The Mangatepopo Road access to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is open but restricted due to limited car parking. When the car parks are full, visitors need to use a local transport concessionaire to be taken to the start of the track.
“DOC staff are working very hard to manage the Mangatepopo Road and car park to give people the opportunity to access the track using their own vehicles. However visitor numbers are still high and the majority of people will still need to use bus transport to the Mangatepopo car park.”
Bhrent advised visitors to book transport from one of the local transport operators to avoid disappointment when the car parks were full.
Te Maari first erupted on 6 August 2012, then again on 21 November 2012. Monitoring of the volcanic activity at the site has been on-going and there are signs that the activity may be slowing.
However scientific advice to the Department indicates the risk of another eruption similar to the August event is still too high to allow public access to the track from Blue Lake Saddle to the Ketetahi car park. This section will remain closed.
A volcanic hazard zone remains in place around Te Maari extending out to 2 km in the south and 2.8 km in the north. Within this the 1 km radius Rahui protective zone is still in place.
It is hoped that ongoing monitoring and risk assessment will allow a further review of the remaining section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing by the end of May or earlier.