The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the most talked about one-day hikes in New Zealand. There are not many places in the world you can experience walking alongside a live volcano. It might not be spewing lava, but you can feel in certain spots that the streams are running hot water, the rocks and the ground is hot. As well as steam vents will really convince you that it is not the sun heating the earth. There are several shuttle options to consider when staying at Tongariro Suites.
To start the hike, you need to make sure you have shuttles booked as the carparking is limited to 4 hours only.
From Tongariro Suites, you can catch a shuttle from our road around 7 am which will take you to the start of the crossing. You will be provided with a map and the timetable for the return shuttles in the afternoon. There is no need to book those return shuttles, so just walk at your own speed, knowing there will be a return shuttle for you. No hikers are ever left behind by a shuttle company. Surprisingly for the remote location there is really good cell phone reception, so you can always ring the shuttle company, if you are still few minutes away fromt he actual departure time.
Many of our guests also prefer the option of driving to the end of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing ( approx 45 minutes) , and park either on the roadside or in a secure carpark and catch a shuttle from the end to the start. The advantage is that there are three departure times in the morning and no stress at all having to catch a shuttle on your return. It very often suits guests who know they are fast hikers and can complete the track within 5 hours. Shuttle companies generraly allow 6 to 8 hours for the hike.
To book this shuttle refer to Tongariro Expeditions website.
The guest will drive to National Park Village , which is approx 15 minutes drive from Tongariro Suites. There is allday free carparking available in the Park and Ride carpark next to the railway station. This is a really good options for guests who would like to be the first hikers on the track and shuttles depart as early as 5.45am. However it also serves well for guests who like to have little sleep in and prefer to be the last group of guests being dropped off , which means catching the last shuttle of the day around 10 am.