Expeditions
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Trekking Tongariro

Background

"There's a real purity in New Zealand. It's actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore" - Elijah Wood

New Zealand. 

That verdant land, a short hop across the Tasman from Australia. Boasting some of the worlds most spectacular landscapes, from towering mountain ranges, steaming volcanoes and verdant forests. It is the perfect natural playground for hiking and adventure.

Here on the North Island, we'll visit New Zealand's oldest national park (and the 6th anywhere in the world), an area recognised by UNESCO for its natural and cultural significance, and by us as the perfect escape into nature!

We're excited to bring to you the Tongariro Northern Circuit and Round the Mountain Track!

Highlights

  • Fully guided trek through the Tongariro National Park
  • Hike the more remote Round the Mountain Track  
  • A beautiful stay at the Chateau Tongariro with it's incredible, natural backdrop
  • Experience the only desert landscape on the North Island
  • Skirt active volcanoes and marvel at beautiful Emerald lakes 
  • Explore a UNESCO World Heritage Area of both natural and cultural significance

Overview

“You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way" - Dr Seuss

To the south of New Zealand's famed Lake Taupo, sits the wonderful volcanic wilderness that is Tongariro National Park.

Three large and active volcanoes have helped shape the parks dramatic landscapes, and after arrival in Auckland, we'll transfer as a group to the gorgeous Chateau Tongariro, gifted as it is with the most stunning of natural backdrops.

From its sitting area, it's easy to get lost marvelling at Mount Ngauruhoe, made famous globally as "Mount Doom" in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Over the coming five days, we'll trek our way across Tongariro National Park, starting out along the popular Tongariro Northern Circuit, before diverging onto the less frequented Round the Mountain Track where we can really feel at one (and ideally alone) with nature.

Within the camp, weather conditions can be unpredictable, and fortunately, we'll utilise the opportunity to lodge within a variety of huts, providing us shelter from the elements.

Huts are generally heated, and sleeping is in a bunk style arrangement with running water also available (untreated, so please boil before drinking).

Participants will need to be fit and will need to have trained. Walking through the Tongariro National Park can be tough, so a good level of fitness is recommended to make the walk of over 80 kilometres an enjoyable affair.

Don't be deterred. The reward for all the effort is a truly stunning immersion in nature!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland and transfer to Chateau Tongariro (4-hour drive) (D)

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Day 2: Whakapapa Village to Mangatepopo Hut (B, L, D) – 9.4km

Day 3: Mangatepopo Hut to Waihohonu Hut (B, L, D) – 20.1km

Round the Mountain Track

Day 4: Waihohonu Hut to Rangipo Hut (B, L, D) – 12.5km

Day 5: Rangipo Hut to Blyth Hut (B, L, D) – 17.4km + 1hr

Day 6: Blyth Hut to Whakapapa Village – 22km + 1hr, transfer to Arrive Chateau Tongariro (B, L, D)

Day 7: Transfer to Auckland, Depart NZ (4-hour drive) (B)

Please note itinerary and night stays may change without notice due to conditions and availability of accommodation (campsites).

Routes

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland and transfer to our hotel, Chateau Tongariro. 
Check into our hotel and then dinner and briefing about your adventure.

Accommodation: Chateau. Includes dinner.

Day 2 Whakapapa Village – Mangatepopo Hut 9.4km hiking

From Whakapapa Village, today's leg is all about quaint stream beds, volcanic views, and ancient lava flows. In the final leg, we'll skirt around an old steam vent before reaching the Mangatepopo Valley track and the hut soon after

Accommodation: Park Hut. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3 Mangatepopo Hut to Waihohonu Hut 20.1km 

Today starts with a gentle uphill climb, but before long it becomes a much steeper ascent. With luck, a clear day will afford us views of Mount Doom (Mount Ngauruhoe) as we make the climb up Red Crater, the highest point of the Tongariro Crossing. At the top, the crater views and those of the Emerald Lakes is a worthy reward for the effort (at least one steep section is chained to assist with the scramble if necessary).

After a downhill section, we'll pass through some lovely wooded sections, ford pretty streams before finally making Waihohonu Hut, considered by many, the nicest in the whole park!

Accommodation: Cabins. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4 Waihohonu Hut to Rangipo Hut 12.5 km 

The track from Waihohonu Hut to Rangipo Hut is described as "one of the most unique areas in the park." The only true desert landscape on the North Island, featuring vast plains of wind sculptured sands and volcanic rock. The 'Rangipo Desert' is something of a misnomer, but more a reflection on the visually arid landscape, as it does indeed receive rain.

The track passes Ohinepango Springs then traverses the eastern side of Ruapehu, and past the Whangaehu River, eventually arriving at Rangipo Hut. The hut is perched on the southern edge of the desert with easterly views towards the Kaimanawa mountains.

Accommodation: Cabins. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5 Rangipo Hut to Blyth Hut 17.4km

Todays walk to Blyth Hut will see us pass the wide and deep Waihianoa Gorge, and a series of other small valleys, some boasting lovely ridge walks. Again as we descend, larger areas of vegetation again begin to appear.

The longer the day, and the closer to Blyth Hut sees another series of valley crossings, much of the trail board-walked as the landscape becomes somewhat damp and marsh-like.

A short 20-30 minute uphill section will see us to the hut.

Accommodation: Cabins. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 6 Blyth Hut to Whakapapa Village – 22km + 1hr, transfer to Arrive Chateau Tongariro

If conditions and time allows, we'll start our last days walk with an early detour to Waitonga Falls, by all accounts the largest within the park at 39m high.

A great final day, with more terrain shaped by seismic activity with the earth. Think lava ridges covered in alpine plants as we climb in and out of valleys, one of the highlights being the many river valleys, including spectacular waterfalls tumbling off lava bluffs in the Whakapapaiti Valley.

It is a long day in terms of ground covered, but the last hour is pretty easy going, as we hit the Silica Rapids Track for our surge into Whakapapa Village.

We'll enjoy a nice dinner and a celebratory drink together (should the fancy take you) 

Accommodation: Chateau. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 7 Return transfer to Auckland and Home (or onwards on your own adventure)

After the roughly 4 hour transfer back to Auckland following breakfast, you're free to make your journey home, or continue with further travel plans

Includes breakfast

Inclusions

  • Seven days guided trekking with an experienced guide
  • Accommodation at the gorgeous Chateau Tongariro
  • All breakfast, lunches and Dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Transfers from, and back to Auckland

Exclusions

  • Beverages
  • Personal souvenirs
  • International flights

Maps

Extensions