Well-equipped winter hiker on Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Image: Shaun Barnett | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


With the change of seasons, it’s important to consider the risks of hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the winter months.

Date:  10 May 2019 Source:  DOC and New Zealand police

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit have just experienced a great season, with spectacular weather over the summer months, but DOC Tongariro Operations Manager Connie Norgate wants visitors to be aware that the arrival of autumn heralds a reduction in facilities and services on track, including on site Rangers, Hut Rangers and volunteers.

“As winter conditions – sub-zero temperatures and snow and ice set in, alpine skills and equipment are essential to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from now until November.”

Senior Constable Barry Shephard of Taupō Police says that with temperatures dropping and day light hours reducing, the consequences of incidents on the track are much greater. “At this time of year, it’s often difficult to get helicopters to the scene of incidents, and rescues can become protracted efforts that not only pose serious risk to those who require assistance, but also to the rescuers who volunteer to assist.”

DOC and New Zealand Police want people to avoid getting caught out. Make sure you plan and prepare for your trip in Tongariro National Park and have a memorable experience for the right reasons.

For more information on preparing for winter conditions see the Tongariro Alpine Crossing  tramping page or call into the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village.


Serena Taylor, Community Ranger
Phone: +64 7892 3475
Mobile: +64 27 529 9666
Email: setaylor@doc.govt.nz

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