1 / 2
New Zealand’s most well known day walk is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 19km hike across moon like landscapes, over an active volcano, through alpine meadows and finally through native bush.
The walk is very well maintained with whole sections of boardwalks to protect the fragile alpine environment.
Once you have reached ‘South Crater’ you have the option to summit Mt Ngauruhoe – this is perhaps better known as Mt Doom. This will add another 2-3 hours to your trip, it is steep and covered in shingle so walking up will be slow.
This walk is not to be taken lightly and people must be prepared to tackle this hike as it is in an alpine environment which can turn nasty very quickly even in the height of summer. It is part of the 4-day Tongariro Northern Circuit.
This walk is very busy during the summer months, especially in the weekends. Start early to get ahead of the throngs of people, don't expect a remote experience - the views are exceptional and a very unique experience, well worth it.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track is one way, so you need to sort out a shuttle to get you from your accommodation to the start of the track. Most people stay in either National Park Village, or Turangi.
If the weather is not as good as you would have hoped there are many other shorter walking and hiking options.