Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) – located in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you’ll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable – the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters, and steam vents – it’s unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there’s an easier hike available at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand (this requires advanced booking, so be sure to tell us you'd like to do this at time of booking). Tonight, you can bathe in some natural thermal springs before having a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Creel Lodge, Turangi (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Hiking: 20 kilometers (12 miles), 7-8 hours, elevation +/- 1,000 meters (3,280 feet)
Notes: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter (from May until September):
Whilst eye-catching, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn’t suitable for the crossing, or you’d prefer to do a hike at a lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!), we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine shrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 meters (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen, and if the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We’ll provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet. This option must be booked at time of booking.