Find out important safety information for hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
What to expect
  • Change in elevation: +/- 1196 m

Elevation profile of Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

  • Alpine environment with rapidly changing weather conditions at all times of the year. It is common to experience strong wind, high rainfall, heavy snowfall and rapid changes in temperature, even in summer. Check the Tongariro National Park weather forecast on the MetService website.
  • Volcanic risk. This is an active volcanic area, and eruptions are possible at any time without warning. Active volcanic vents on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are Mount Ngauruhoe, Red Crater, and Te Maari Craters. Volcanic hazard zones surround all of these vents. If you are within one of these areas when an eruption happens, you may be in danger. Know the volcanic risks and what to do in an eruption. Check the latest volcanic activity information before you go, at the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre and on the Geonet website.
  • Winter snow. Do not attempt this trip when snow is present unless you are experienced in the backcountry and have an ice axe, crampons and are experienced in avalanche terrain. Visit for updated avalanche forecasts. In winter, the use of a guide is highly recommended.
Alternative walks

If conditions are poor, try alternatives such as Taranaki Falls Walking Track or Tama Lakes Track.

  • Toilets are every 1–2 hr along the track.
Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • plenty of drinking water - water along the track is not suitable for drinking
  • a water/windproof jacket and pants, hat and gloves, sunscreen and wear warm, layered clothing
  • sturdy footwear such as tramping boots
  • head torch and mobile phone.

How to pack for a day walk

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.

Learn more about preparing for a day walk in Day walks guide: English | Français | Español | Deutsch

In the area

For information on transport, accommodation, activities, and attractions in the Ruapehu and Lake Taupo region, refer to and  

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