Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) as well as Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you'll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day-hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable but the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters and steam vents; it's unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there are easier hikes available, such as a trail at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand. Tonight, you'll head to some natural thermal springs to soak tired muscles and have a celebratory dinner for your last night together. Accommodation: Creel Lodge, Turangi. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter (from May until September)
Whilst spectacular, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn’t suitable for the crossing, or you’d prefer to do a hike at lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!) we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine scrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 metres (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen, and if the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We will provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet.