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Days: 3.5 days
(track uneven in places)
Start/Finish: Start: Rotorua 1.30pm (airport or central Rotorua), or Taupo 2.30pm
Finish: Rotorua 6pm
November 2019: 12, 26
Period 1st Jun 18 - 31st May 20
Child rate applies to those 15 years and under.
Recommended minimum age is 10 years.
Single supplement applies to ALL individual travellers. If another single traveller is the same gender and willing to share, the single supplement may be refunded.
Pick-up from Rotorua 1.30pm, Taupo 2.30pm, or meet at The Chateau in Tongariro National Park at 4pm if you would like to join today's walk (please be checked in and ready to go - meet at reception 4pm) or arrive by 6pm if not joining the walk.
Arrive in Tongariro National Park and become acquainted with the area and your guide with a short walk. Settle in to your accommodation with a glass of New Zealand wine, while the sun sets over the impressive Tongariro volcanoes. Relish a delicious New Zealand style restaurant meal while you get to know the other members of your small group. Retire to a cozy bed and hot shower, ready to tackle the world's best day hike tomorrow - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing!
Today you find out what all the fuss is about! We challenge you to find a camera angle that does not produce spectacular, other worldly results, on the track that is known as the world's best day hike. It's not a free ride however, as this is a challenging hike traversing steep volcanic domes and steaming craters; there is NO WHERE else like this on the planet. If conditions allow we will have an early start on the track, so we can enjoy the solitude and watch the sunrise over the mountains - a truly magical experience!
The track runs through the Mangatepopo Valley (900m) to the saddle between Tongariro and Ngauruhoe Mountains. Two steep climbs lead to Red Crater (1886m), then a scree slope drops down to the vivid Emerald Lakes. After passing the Green and Blue Lakes the track sidles around the northern slope of Mount Tongariro, before the long descent of switch-backs and many steps to the end (600m).
Fair weather and a good level of fitness are required to undertake this hike.
Complete the entire Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track and celebrate at the end with a well-deserved cool drink and snack.
Return to the Chateau and revive your weary muscles in the plunge pool and sauna, before meeting in the delightful lounge for pre-dinner aperitifs. Tonight we head out to a restaurant & pub for a casual meal with the locals.
Travel around the southern side of Mt Ruapehu to experience some of New Zealand’s rail history on the Old Coach Road trail. Between 1906 to 1908 the road was used to carry passengers and goods by horse and coach, between two railheads on the main trunk line. Heritage features on the trail include a unique cobbled road, massive steel viaducts, a curved tunnel, railway bridge remains, and old campsites. The 15km walk takes around 5 hours, and also passes through some beautiful stands of native forest with sweeping views across the district.
If conditions allow you will explore the dramatic, rock-strewn landscapes higher up Mt Ruapehu. At 2797 metres above sea level, the North Island’s highest mountain offers jaw-dropping views over the National Park with various hiking options or catch a chair-lift up to NZ’s highest café (6-8 hours hiking).
Tonight enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group in The Chateau’s elegant Ruapehu Restaurant.
After another delicious breakfast pack up and depart The Chateau to explore more of Tongariro National Park.
Today's walk may lead to the Taranaki Falls, tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, which erupted from Mt Ruapehu 15,000 years ago. The falls plunge into a boulder-ringed pool - a great spot for a picnic. The track passes through an interesting range of alpine meadows and beech forest with spectacular views of the mountains. Then hike around the glistening Lake Rotopounamu, which is nestled in the side of an old volcanic mountain and totally fringed with lush forest.
Drop off in Taupo by 5pm or Rotorua by 6pm.
Average of 6 hrs physical activity per day*
At times carrying backpack of 5-6kgs.
Tracks generally in good condition.
Altitude gains of up to 1000m on harder days.
No hiking experience necessary.
Reasonable standard of fitness required.
*A reasonable level of fitness and agility is required for this tour. Walkers need to carry a daypack containing lunch, drinking water and warm clothing for at least 3 hours a day. Track surfaces vary from well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by tree roots, rocks and loose scree.
A higher level of fitness is required to undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake Climb, which are strenuous hikes of 7-8 hours, with a climb and descent of around 1000 metres through an alpine environment. The guide will provide advice on fitness and weather conditions. There is always the option of doing shorter hikes or relaxing in the lodge instead.
Equipment Provided and Required
You may borrow a 40-litre backpack and/or waterproof raincoat, or you can use your own. Weather conditions are highly variable so it is essential to have clothing that keeps you warm, even when wet. For this reason, polypropylene or wool clothing is recommended to walk in, and not cotton.
Bring your own or borrow from operator
Essential clothing for walking:
You are transported to the start of the track by mini coach. Pick up from Central Rotorua accommodation or airport. Your return transport to Rotorua is also by mini coach.
Connects with Air New Zealand Sydney to Rotorua direct flights on a Tuesday. Pickup and drop off to Taupo also available.
All meals & snacks; hot and cold drinks throughout the day; evening aperitifs are included in the price.
Dinners are delicious 2 course restaurant meals with a focus on NZ style cuisine, with generous pre-dinner nibbles and drinks. Wine and other beverages can be purchased with dinner. Breakfasts have cooked and continental options. Packed lunches are made fresh daily.
Double or twin rooms with ensuite in the 4 star Tongariro Chateau Hotel. Upgrades to executive spa suites, and single supplements are available. The Chateau is a historic hotel with breathtaking views of the volcanoes & National Park. An elegant lounge area provides the perfect place to relax and socialise with the group at the end of each day. The heated plunge pool and sauna are ideal for tired muscles!
There are no additional costs.
The guides are trained outdoor enthusiasts who take pride in providing a safe and friendly service. They will explain the natural and human history of the area you are walking in, and provide everything from a hot cup of tea or coffee to advice and support for your walk. Your guide will give you briefings on each day's walk. All guides are trained in first aid and carry extensive first aid kits.
What will the weather be like?
It is essential to be well prepared when walking in New Zealand, as the weather can change rapidly. Although you may be walking in summer season, rain, cold and wind can occur at any time of year. Good raincoats can be provided and hiking boots are recommended so you will be comfortable in any weather conditions. The above itinerary is weather dependant. Your guides will choose the best walks to suit the weather conditions.
What about alcohol and food preferences?
Wine and other beverages can be purchased with dinner. If you have any particular food allergies or tastes please advise well ahead of time so that you can be catered for.
Do I need to be very fit?
You need to be of moderate fitness to enjoy this trip. Although some of the track is rough in parts, the pace is not difficult and there are plenty of rest stops for drinks and admiring the views.
A high level of fitness is required to undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is a strenuous hike of 7-8 hours, with a climb and descent of around 1000 metres through an alpine environment.
What do I need to carry?
Walkers need to carry a daypack containing lunch, drinking water and warm clothing for at least 3 hours a day. Track surfaces vary from well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by tree roots, rocks and loose scree.
Where can we leave our vehicle?
Vehicles can be left at your Rotorua accommodation.
There is also an option to self-drive to the lodge in Tongariro. Please arrive approx 6pm on day 1. Driving time takes approx 4.5-5 hours from Auckland or Wellington.
For bookings 4 or more months in advance of the departure a 25% deposit can be paid with the remainder due 65 days prior to your trip. For bookings within 4 months of the departure, full payment is required.
60+ days prior to departure: $85 per person cancellation fee
59 - 30 days prior to departure: $200 per person cancellation fee
29 - 10 days prior to departure: refund of 50% of full ticket price
9 days or less prior to departure: no refund
Please note that due to circumstances out of our control, itineraries may change at any time. The operator will always endeavour to ensure that where changes are made, clients are notified as soon as possible.
We suggest clients take out a comprehensive travel insurance.
World Nomads Travel Insurance provides online quotes.
Notes: This trip is run in conjunction with another operator.