If you are planning a Tongariro Crossing trek, a good shuttle service is the most convenient option. The can pick you up from your accommodation doorstep to the start of the trail and back again at its completion.
Although not an easy hike, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and one of the world’s most remarkable day hikes. The landscape resembles that of Mars; you will no doubt be filled with breathtaking sights to capture on film!
Pick-up and drop-off in Ketetahi
Tongariro Crossing is one of the world’s premier one-day hikes, drawing crowds from all corners. A 6-8 hour alpine trek that traverses active volcanoes, mountain lakes, and native forest.
But reaching both the start (Mangatepopo) and end of the trail (Ketetahi) may prove challenging; to make things simpler and safer there are multiple shuttle services available to make things simpler and safer.
Dependent upon where you’re staying, some services offer to pick you up at your accommodation and drop you back off after your hike is completed – saving both time and money in the morning rush! This could save both precious hours as well as cash.
There are various services to select from and it is crucial that you find one that is suitable for you. Some options may cost more than others so take the time to carefully compare each option available to you.
For instance, if you are staying in National Park, Whakapapa, Owhango or Ohakune it may be worthwhile to choose a company that will pick up from your accommodation and drop back off at the start of your hike – this way saving yourself the hassle of driving all the way out to Ketetahi, finding parking spots, then taking the shuttle bus back uphill!
Your next consideration should be how long it will take you to reach the beginning of the hike from where you’re staying; depending on its distance this could add up to 30 minutes extra travel time.
If you’re staying in National Park Village or one of its nearby hotels, many offer shuttle services to and from Mangatepopo Road Car Park; in some instances these shuttle services may even be free for their guests.
Hire a car and drive yourself from Taupo or Turangi accommodation directly to the starting point of Crossing hike. This allows you to experience its breathtaking natural beauty, plus provide convenient transport home after finishing.
Shuttle companies offer an efficient solution if convenience is your priority. Most offer multiple pick up times in the afternoon to reduce wait time or have you running late to catch it.
When choosing a shuttle company, make sure that they pick you up at your accommodation at the proper time and how long it will take them to reach Ketetahi – this may vary greatly between companies so be sure to do your research first before booking your shuttle service.
Your research should give you an accurate estimation of what it will cost, as well as an idea of when and where your pick up and drop off will take place. Selecting an experienced company will make the experience stress-free and enjoyable!
Pick-up and drop-off in Turangi
Turangi, situated just 40 minutes away from Whakapapa ski area and five minutes from Tokaanu thermal hot pools, makes an excellent base for hiking adventures into Tongariro National Park. Furthermore, the town is home to one of the region’s most picturesque mountain biking trails: 15 kilometre Tongariro River Trail.
The Tongariro Crossing Shuttle provides an alternative approach for exploring the National Park, leaving daily from National Park Village. Operated by Tongariro Alpine Crossing (TCS), this service departs every day.
Shuttle tours offer a cost-effective alternative to booking private guides for those on tight budgets, providing secure parking as well as return transport back to your car after your hike has concluded. Starting at just $45 NZD per rider and including free secure parking spot and transport back home once completed.
There is also the option of booking a Private Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Walk for $615 NZD per person and including round-trip transport, lunch and an expert exclusive guide who will accompany the hike. Or alternatively you can just set out on your own to appreciate all that amazing views there are along the route!
As this hike can be strenuous and lengthy, it’s wise to arrive in good physical shape with all necessary gear. Hiking the Tongariro Crossing may prove strenuous for beginners and inexperienced hikers – taking it slowly is advised and ensure you have enough energy reserves for completion of this day trip.
At the National Park, you can also experience the thrills and spills of Tongariro River by rafting. Rafting is a fantastic way to see the scenery up close while feeling the rush of white water rapids. Rent your equipment from a local company and spend several days enjoying this thrilling sport on its waters!
Tongariro National Park offers plenty to discover during your visit, so take time to discover and soak in its breathtaking sights! Hike on any one of its numerous hiking trails such as Tongariro Crossing or Tongariro Alpine Trail for unforgettable scenery and panoramic vistas!
Visitors who want to spend the night in the park should stay at Flax&Fern Accommodatio, conveniently situated within easy walking distance from Tongariro Crossing’s entrance. This eco-friendly B&B provides guests with a cozy yet homely environment to explore nature. They offer full continental breakfast and feature a lounge equipped with flat screen TV, Netflix and movies streaming service.
Turangi offers accommodation to fit every budget, from hotel rooms and holiday homes to car rental options and explore local eateries and cafes.
Pick-up and drop-off in National Park
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most beloved hiking trails and with good reason: its trail winds its way through alpine peaks and volcanic activity to offer breathtaking landscapes for tourists from around the world to experience.
The park is easily accessible, featuring well-kept state highways for quick driving in and out. Furthermore, the North Island Main Trunk railway connecting Auckland with Wellington passes close by – further increasing convenience.
Hiking enthusiasts from around the globe flock to Tongariro National Park each year to discover its remarkable volcanic terrain and admire the iconic mountains from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There is something suitable for hikers of all fitness and experience levels here; though please keep in mind that during peak times trails may become quite crowded!
As this crossing is one-way, you will require transportation from both ends to get you back onto your trek at either end. Luckily, several shuttle companies exist that can assist with this task.
Adventure Lodge & Motel was an excellent base, as they arranged a shuttle service that transported us directly from there to the start of Tongariro Crossing and back afterwards – this made our stay extremely relaxed without having to navigate our own way through the park!
They provided us with a convenient shuttle service between the hotel and airport, making our stay even easier! These accommodations are an ideal way to unwind after an exhausting day of trekking.
There is a wealth of hiking options in the National Park, from popular routes like Tongariro Crossing to lesser-known trails that offer less crowds and more natural beauty. Many waterfalls can also be found along these hikes and even scenic flights can be experienced from within the park itself.
Are You an Outdoors Enthusiast? Tongariro Crossing will make an unforgettable adventure! Nothing can top hiking through this magnificent area in New Zealand wilderness than enjoying this hike.
The Tongariro Crossing is an iconic hike, drawing over 140,000 participants every summer! While challenging, this journey doesn’t need to be impossible.
Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand’s premier single-day hikes and one of the ten best dayhikes worldwide!
Tongariro Crossing should be on every hiker’s bucket list, but before setting out make sure to check the weather forecast first – as seasons and trails may differ greatly, and may become icy or snowy during winter hikes. Be sure to wear warm clothing and pack plenty of warm gear!
More information on Tongariro Crossing: https://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/about-new-zealand/attractions/scenic-highlights/tongariro-alpine-crossing