Moderate to Challenging
  • Self Guided Walk
  • 2 nights Alpine Lodge, 2 nights Department of Conservation Great Walk Hut
  • 2 Dinners
  • 1 Lunch
  • 4 Breakfasts


5 daysfrom


Trip Code: GTN

Trip highlights

  • Visit the Central Volcanic Plateau, with stunning views to Mount Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe
  • Experience the iconic Tongariro Northern Circuit
  • Traverse a volcano, in The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand's most popular Great Walk
  • Rest, dine and stay in an authentic Alpine Lodge
  • Soak away achy tired muscles in the Lodge Hot tubs

The Tongariro Northern Circuit, an incredible journey through a UNESCO Dual World Heritage Park recognized for it's spiritual and cultural significance, and home to three active volcanic mountains; Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. Trek across volcanic alpine landscapes while taking in the dramatic contrasts between ancient lava flows, steaming vents, vivid crater lakes, scree slopes, and glacial valleys.

Your journey begins and ends in National Park at the Park Hotel Ruapehu, an Alpine Lodge style hotel. Complete with cosy rooms, an onsite bar, a restaurant and hot tubs, this is the perfect base from which to explore the Tongariro National Park.

Your first day includes a decent section of the popular Tongariro Alpine crossing, gradually climbing between Mount Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. The ascent to the Red crater is challenging, being the highest point of the trail at 1886m. Then onward to your first overnight in a Department of Conservation Great Walk hut. Day two of this circuit travels over undulating valleys, streams and open gravel fields, before leading around the foothills of Mount Ngaruahoe. Your destination is a scenic valley where you will find the second of our Great Walk huts nestled in next to the Waihohonu Stream. The final day involves a 5 hour walk to Whakapapa village via stunning Tama Lakes, and Taranaki Falls enroute. On arrival at Whakapapa you are transferred back to your hotel to enjoy a well earned soak in the hot tub, and the comforts of a private room and quality dining. This incredible multi-day walk includes challenging climbs and unpredictable weather, though it cannot be surpassed for dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery.


On arrival at National Park, check in to your trip accommodation any time from 2.00pm. Admire the views of Mount Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe and Tongariro as you relax and enjoy your surroundings, and prepare for your adventure.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast the journey beings with a shuttle from your trip accommodation to Mangatepopo where you commence your walk. Take in the views, with remnants of lava flows and prepare for a steep ascent to the Red Crater. Once you reach the top, be dazzled by Emerald Lakes (Nga Rotopounamu), a short side trip will take you to the equally amazing Blue Lake (Te Wai Whakaata o te Rangihiroa. Leave the Alpine Crossing track and descend into Oturere valley. Toward the end of this track, you’ll pass through a landscape of other-worldly lava forms before reaching your accommodation at the Oturere Hut. NOTE: Please respect the custom of Ngati Tuwharetoa and do not climb the peaks of Mounts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Ngati Tuwharetoa are the Iwi who made the gift of these sacred peaks to Aotearoa New Zealand, and uphold these measures of guardianship and conservation. Also, the lakes on this walk are sacred; touching the water and swimming are not permitted.

Meals:  B,L,D

After leaving Oturere Hut and following the track over undulating valleys, streams and open gravel fields, begin the gradual traverse around the foothills of Mount Ngaruahoe. Altitude, climate and volcanic eruptions have all contributed to repress plant life, and the loose gravel landscape makes recolonisation a slow process. Descend into a valley, crossing the branches of Waihohonu stream. Continue through a beech clad valley and make your ascent towards the ridge top. Waihohonu Hut is situated in the next valley.

Meals:  B,D

On your final day, you’ll head west towards Tama Saddle. On reaching the Tama Saddle, a detour will take you to the beautiful Tama lakes (Nga Puna a Tama) – empty craters now filled with azure blue water. From here, you’ll pass the tumbling Taranaki Falls before reaching Whakapapa Village. After being transferred back to the hotel, enjoy a final evening reflecting on your adventure. Begin with a soothing soak, and dine in comfort at the hotel’s restaurant.

Meals:  B

After breakfast this morning, arrangements conclude upon check out.

Meals:  B


  • 2 nights Alpine lodge Hotel (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 2 nights Department of Conservation (DOC) Great Walk huts in multishare bunk rooms with shared outside toilet
  • Road transfers from accommodation to/from trailheads
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 dinners (Radix Nutrition during Circuit hike)
  • Packed lunch on day 1 of Circuit
  • Rubbish bag, toilet paper
  • Hot drinks pack including tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Map and route notes
  • PLB hire (personal locator beacon) per group
  • Free car parking for returning walkers
  • Drinking water (available from hotel and DOC huts)
  • Free Wifi (At the Hotel)
  • Free Hot tub facilities at hotel

  • Travel to National Park on Day 1 and onwards from National Park on Day 5
  • Hiking pack, sleeping bag, mug/cup & spoon
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks other than water, tea/coffee/hot chocolate - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation
  • Optional activities, extras, upgrades
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Water bottle
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface



Moderate to Challenging  

MODERATE - CHALLENGING GRADE 6 These adventures involves trekking for up to 7 or 8 hours a day, on average, at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. The trek involves carrying a full pack around 12 - 15kg. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions and uneven terrain. Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling - good cardiovascular exercise. Hill or stair walking with a loaded pack is also highly recommended at least once a week in variable weather conditions.

Departure dates

Daily departures from 01 November to 30 April


The Tongariro National Park passes through volcanic hazard zones – volcanic risk is present. Monitoring systems measure activity and mitigate volcanic risk, but won't ensure your personal safety. If you are uncomfortable with this risk, choose a different track.
The track passes through an alpine environment with changeable weather conditions at all times of year. Very cold temperatures, strong wind, heavy rainfall and poor visibility (even in summer) are all common – especially at high altitude. Snow can fall at any time of year and is still possible in October at the beginning of the Great Walk season.
Lodge accommodation is based on twin share, a single supplement applies for solo travellers.
We don't recommend this trip for solo travellers unless experienced in remote and adverse conditions with plenty of previous experience in alpine terrain. We recommend a minimum of 2 people for this trip, for safety reasons.

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$250
  • Solo Traveller SurchargeNZD$450
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Tongariro Northern Circuit Self-Guided Hike trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Tongariro Alpine Crossing | Tramping (Hiking) Video Series | New Zealand

Trip reviews

Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.


A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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