Winding its way over Mt Tongariro and around Mt Ngauruhoe is the Tongariro Northern Circuit, one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. This walk passes through unique and stunning landforms which include volcanic craters and glacial valleys.
The Tongariro Northern Circuit is considered a challenging tramp, largely on open exposed terrain, much of it on uneven track surface. It can be subject to sudden rapid weather changes. Reasonable fitness is required.
Clothing requirements are warm layers (merino or polypropylene), waterproof and windproof jacket, long pants, sturdy hiking boots, warm hat and gloves. Jeans and cotton clothing are not recommended, they do not keep you warm. Also consider waterproof overpants and sunhat. Great Walk reservations are required before you leave. You can purchase them online. Gas cookers are installed at the huts during the Great Walk season. Times between huts are an indication only and may depend on fitness and weather conditions. The Circuit is for hiking only - no mountain bikes are permitted.
Snow and ice covers a significant part of the track. Crampons and ice-axe, and experience using them are essential, as is winter-weight warm and waterproof clothing.
Plan and Prepare
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip. Before starting out, trampers should check the weather forecast and track conditions -Tongariro National Park weather is extremely changeable all year round. Be prepared for bad weather at all times.