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Tongariro Hiking Tour     ( 19 April, 2018 )

"Of all the guided trips I
"Of all the guided trips I've done in recent years, Walking Legends were definitely the best guides!"
Climbing up Mt Ruapehu
Climbing up Mt Ruapehu
Mt Ruapehu active crater lake
Mt Ruapehu active crater lake
Looking over the volcanoes of the North Island from Mt Ruapehu
Looking over the volcanoes of the North Island from Mt Ruapehu
Blue Lake, Tongariro Crossing
Blue Lake, Tongariro Crossing
Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Crossing
Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Crossing
3.5 Days
(24 miles)
Depart Rotorua or Taupo
NZD$1000 per child
(15 years and under)

Tongariro Hiking Tour Summary

Experience the dramatic alpine and volcanic landscapes of World Heritage Area Tongariro National Park, with a small group and experienced local guide. Hike the unforgettable Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake. Significant cultural heritage combined with arid badlands, crater lakes, sparkling rivers, breath-taking lunar landscapes, native beech forest and alpine meadows - this New Zealand hiking tour is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!

  • Pick-up Rotorua 1:30pm or Taupo 2:30pm
  • Join a small group, or have an exclusive tour for your own group
  • 3 days / 3 nights all-inclusive New Zealand hiking tour
  • 4-8 hours hiking each day over varied and rocky terrain
  • Carry a day pack only
  • Includes: meals, snacks and wine; return Rotorua or Taupo transport; 4 star historic hotel accommodation; hot pools; chairlift tickets; raincoats & day packs; experienced local guides

Tongariro Hiking Tour Full Itinerary

Day One: Arrive Central Plateau

Dusk Chateau


Pick-up from Rotorua central or airport approx 1:30pm, or Taupo 2:30pm.

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!

Day Two: Tongariro Crossing

old man at the top

7-8 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - known as the best one-day walk in New Zealand and possibly the world. A challenging hike leads through stunning volcanic landscapes, past steaming craters, quirky coloured lakes and impressive dome volcanoes. Fantastic views over central North Island. Fair weather and a good level of fitness are required to undertake this hike. 

If conditions allow we will have an early start on the track, so we can enjoy the pre-dawn solitude of the mountains and watch the sunrise over the volcanoes – a truly magical experience!

Lonely Planet recommends a walk amidst the Tongariro Volcanoes as "a life-changing experience not to be missed!" Your guides make this unforgettable hike even more memorable by sharing their local knowledge, setting a relaxed pace, and providing a well-earned celebratory drink and snack at the end of the track.

Return to our lodgings to soak your weary muscles in the hot plunge pool, before having a casual pub dinner with the locals.

(Want to do this hike in a day? Take a look at our One Day Guided Hike of Tongariro Crossing.)

Day Three: Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake Climb


6-8 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Walk up Mount Ruapehu taking a chair lift up to 2000m, then hike up to the crater lake near the summit (approx 2 hours up to 2660m). The lake reaches temperatures of up to 60 C. Impressive views of the central plateau and all its volcanoes are afforded from near the summit of the North Island's highest mountain. This hike is very weather dependent, and may not be possible early or late season due to snow and/or chairlift being closed.

If you fancy a more relaxing day you will have the option of joining a guide and heading to the local visitor centre to do some of the shorter walks in the area, perhaps to the Tama Lakes on a section of the Tongariro Northern Circuit Track.

Tonight enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group in The Chateau's elegant restaurant.

Day Four: Rainforest & Waterfalls


3-5 hours walking (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast we pack up and explore more of Tongariro National Park with a walk 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. 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 volanic mountain and totally fringed with lush forest. Walking Legends support an eco trust that are working to restore the native birdlife to this special area.

Drop off in Taupo approx 4 - 5pm or Rotorua 5 - 6pm.

Questions & Answers


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 4 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, sometimes crossing patches of snow or ice. The guide will provide advice on fitness and weather conditions. There is an option of doing shorter hikes or relaxing in the lodge instead.


Outside Landscape 1.5mb
For the Tongariro Hiking Tour we stay in a 4-star historic hotel set spectacularly against Mt Ruapehu, in the heart of the National Park. Private ensuite rooms on twin/double basis. Single supplement available.

The beautiful dining and lounge area is the perfect place for apperitifs with your small group of hikers after an exhilirating day outdoors. We dine in a range of different restaurants each evening.



The Tongariro Hiking Tour departs once a week (usually Tuesday afternoons) between November to April. Pick up from Rotorua or Taupo is included, or you can self-drive to the lodge or catch the train from Auckland or Wellington.

Additional walks depart over holiday weekends, such as New Years Eve and Easter Weekend.

Check out our Walk Calendar.

If none of these dates suit please contact us, we may be able to add more departures, and offer exclusive trips for groups.

Talk to Hilary

0800 WALK NZ
Overseas phone +64 73 125297
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