View of the sunset from the Ketetahi Track

Image: Jimmy Johnson | DOC

Introduction

The Ketetahi Track is a section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. You can get close up views of the active Te Maari craters.

Track overview

13 km return via same track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

The Ketetahi hut and campsite are no longer available for accommodation, following damage from the 2012 volcanic eruptions. The hut is now a shelter only. There are toilets available, but no drinking water.

Walk the track as a one-day return trip or as part of the one day, one way Tongariro Alpine Crossing (make transport arrangements before you leave). Alternatively, continue on the 2-3 day Tongariro Northern Circuit.

The track begins by climbing through podocarp forest. Part of the way it follows a stream, naturally polluted by thermal activity and unfit for drinking. The track emerges from the forest onto a broad tussock-covered ridge, and continues up the slopes below the North Crater of Tongariro toward the Ketetahi shelter. The treeline is where the active volcanic hazard zone begins. There are great views from here of the steaming vents at Te Maari craters, and the Ketetahi thermal area.

Along the way you can see evidence of the 2012 eruption of the Te Maari crater. There are impact craters from flying rocks - including a large one just below the Ketetahi shelter - and damage done to the hut from the August 2012 eruption.

Note: There is no public right of access to the Ketetahi springs.

Beyond the Ketetahi shelter, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing continues up to the Blue and Emerald Lakes, then joins the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk.

Getting there

The Ketetahi Track is signposted off State Highway 46, a 35 minute drive from Whakapapa Village or Turangi.

Know before you go

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Always check the weather forecast and track conditions before you go, and be prepared for wet cold and windy weather. Tongariro National Park weather is extremely changeable all year round.

What to take

  • windproof and waterproof clothing (rain jacket and overtrousers)
  • sturdy comfortable shoes or boots
  • food, and plenty to drink (water is not available on the track)
  • sunglasses and sunscreen
  • first aid kit

Contacts

Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 7 892 3729
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   tongarirovc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Whakapapa Village
State Highway 48
Mount Ruapehu
Postal Address:   PO Box 71029
Whakapapa Village
Mount Ruapehu 3951
Back to top