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Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Traverse active volcanoes in New Zealand's oldest national park.

Also in Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand

Hiking Difficult

20 km
808 m
1.2 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
757 m
High Point
1.8 km
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Map

The Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand and a double gold heritage site. It's special for two reasons: it has a hugely rich cultural history and absolutely immense scenery.


The park’s three active volcanic mountains Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu; emerald lakes; and wild moonscapes give the area a fantastical quality which has been attracting adventurers for decades. Since the Lord of the Rings films were released, the Tongariro National Park has gained even more popularity as the Ngauruhoe volcanic mountain is featured as the imposing Mount Doom in the films. So if you want to walk in Frodo’s footsteps, or you just simply enjoy the challenge of a tough traverse of three active volcanoes, then this hike is for you!

It’s advised to check both the weather and volcanic conditions before setting out (early!) on this long day trek. You can access this and other up to date information about the hike here: https://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz/


https://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz/ https://www.nationalpark.co.nz/ https://the-park.co.nz/iconic-emerald-and-blue-lakes-in-tongariro



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between October and March


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

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Guidebooks in this area