The Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a spectacular one-day trek across New Zealands Tongariro National Park World Heritage Area.  The trek begins at Mangatepopo in the west and ends at Ketetahi on the northern edge of the Park.  Alpine Hot Bus shuttle bus service is the leading Tongariro Alpine Crossing transport operator taking trekkers to and from the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Their buses collect trekkers from Taupo Turangi and transport them to the Mangatepopo start point.  Later in the day, Alpine Hot Bus collect trekkers from the Ketetahi car park and take them back to Turangi and on to Taupo.  Alpine Hot Bus operate under a Department of Conservation Concession.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing starts as a gentle gradient up the Mangatepopo Valley to a steep climb to the saddle between the active Volcanoes of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, across South Crater and finally climbing up to Red Crater, the highest point (1886m) on the track. Then descending down to the Emerald Lakes (a group of water filled explosion craters), over Central Crater to the Blue Lake (an old vent) sidling around North Crater past the Ketetahi Hut and the Ketetahi Hot Springs and then down through the native forest to the car park.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing (route marked in red) is 17km (one way) and you should allow 6 - 7 hours from the Mangatepopo car park to the Ketetahi car park.


Approximate Walking Times:

    •    Mangatepopo car park to Soda Springs -1 hour
    •    Soda Springs to South Crater - 45 minutes
    •    South Crater to Red Crater - 1 hour
    •    Red Crater to Ketetahi Hut - 2 hours
    •    Ketetahi Hut to Ketetahi car park - 2 hours

However, to enjoy other side tracks, plus sightseeing and lunch - allow another 2 hours.

Temperatures and Gear

The temperatures in the Tongariro National Park range from 3 to 35°C in the summer and -5 to +10°C in the winter. We suggest the following should be taken:

    •    Rainproof coat and over-trousers
    •    Warm clothing, including hat and gloves (woollen or polyprop)
    •    Good footwear (boots)
    •    Sunglasses, sun-block, camera
    •    Food and water
    •    When snow is on the track, you may need an ice axe and crampons

Other Walks in the Tongariro National Park

Beginning from the Whakapapa Visitors Centre:

Ridge Track

Tawhai Falls Track

Taranaki Falls

Silica Rapids

Tama Lakes

Northern Circuit

30 minutes in tussock environment

1.5 hours return via the Whakapapanui Track in a forest environment

2 hours round trip in sub alpine environment

2.5 hours in sub alpine environment

5 hours in tussock and alpine herb fields

3-4 days, 50 km, incorporating most of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, passing active volcanoes, craters, lava flows, the Tama Lakes, Taranaki Falls, and native and flora and fauna.

This is a National Park.  Please take all rubbish you create out of the Park.

Hot Bus also runs a Lake Taupo Shuttle Service around Taupo to local Taupo attractions, an airport service and is available for Private Charters.  

Contact us for more information and bookings.

Alpine Hot Bus operates under a Department of Conservation (DOC) Concession

Make an Online Booking on the Alpine Hot Bus


phone: 0508 468 287