Tongariro Crossing (with guide)

Tongariro Lakes winter 2.jpg
Tongariro Crossing.jpg
Tongariro Lakes winter 2.jpg
Tongariro Lakes winter 2.jpg
Tongariro Crossing.jpg
Tongariro Lakes winter 2.jpg

Tongariro Crossing (with guide)


The Tongariro Crossing is often regarded as the best one day trek in the world, and for good reason. It takes place across the stunning Tongaririo National Park, through alpine plains, volcanic outcrops, past Mount Doom (From the Lord of the Rings) and most famously, the emerald lakes. The guided tour is only necessary in Winter (May to September), as they low temperatures can require special gear and preparation, and will give you peace of mind while you explore these dramatic landscapes.

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The Tongariro Alpine Crossing over winter (1 May to 31 October) has all that summer offers plus one key ingredient that summer doesn't, SNOW. Beautiful white pristine often shimmering snow, sometimes stretched for as far as the eye can see. Yes it is colder than summer, but we supply all the warm gear needed to make you feel like you are back in the tropics again, well almost.

Does the snow make it harder? No! is the answer. Snow fills in the holes around the rocks and smooths out the otherwise rugged volcanic landscape into an almost perfectly smooth surface. Sometimes this perfectly flat surface can turn icy, which gives us the opportunity to have a fun time learning how to walk in crampons. So not only do you get to complete the world famous Tongariro Crossing in winter, you also get taught how to walk in crampons and how use an ice axe without clobbering your buddy next to you, this also makes for fantastic photo's! The guides will also check if you have the right gear to undertake the walk, and will be constantly assessing throughout the day to make sure everyone is doing well. Daylight hours are shorter in winter and the guides will be doing the time management for you! 

We take all individual and group bookings. If you are travelling alone please book as we generally always meet minimum numbers, especially on good weather days. Our Minimum group size is 2 for those staying at Tongariro National Park Village or 4 for those staying in Taupo and Turangi. In the event we don't reach our minimums then we offer you the ability to either meet us at our base in Tongariro where we are likely to have reached our minimums or postpone or cancel with refund. Transport to and from Turangi and Taupo is included in this Winter special price. 


Price Includes 

Guide/s, return transfers from the Adrift base, return transfers from Turangi accommodation, return transfers from Taupo CBD accommodation, all equipment required (including crampons and ice axes) and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need up to a $40 free allowance ($10 per item). 


Gear List 

Lunch, Water (1-1.5 litres), Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc), Sunscreen, Sunglasses, backpack per person, hiking boots, thermal longs and/or walking trousers & over-trousers, 3 warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are good layers), Waterproof raincoat, Warm hat and gloves.


Gear For Hire 

Adrift Tongariro has available for hire equipment, footwear and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need including boots, socks, thermal longs, fleece longs, waterproof pants, thermal tops, fleece tops, waterproof tops, warm gloves, warm hats, sun hats, sunglasses, backpacks, walking poles and sleeping bags and liners.


Fitness and Experience 

A reasonably good level of fitness is required. If you are concerned about your fitness, please let your guide know before commencing the walk as there are options they may be able to offer if your concerns come to fruition. The winter time taken for the trek is approximately 8 hours and because we are limited for daylight hours in winter we need to keep a moderate pace during the day.  We start walking at approximately 8:30am and finish at approximately 4:30pm with a number of stops including a half hour stop to fit crampons and instruct in their correct use and a 15 minute stop for lunch.  Our walking pace is about 3kms per hour which is easily achievable for just about everyone.

Fitness and age are inversly proportional, unfortunately.
15-40 Years - The fitter you are the less one hurts the day after, just about everyone in this age bracket should be able to get over in the time allocated, unless exercise is a dirty word.
40-55 Years - Most should be able to get over in the time allowed, some may hurt the following day.
55+ Years - A good average level of fitness for the age is needed to ensure one can make it over in the time permitted.

Crampons and ice axes are required and our guides are there to show you how to use them safely. No alpine experience is required when undertaking a guided trip.  

 Transfers: Pick up / Drop off

Tour starts and finishes at the Adrift Base:

Adrift base: Pick up 7:00am / Drop off 5:30pm

Turangi: Pick up 6:40am / Drop off 6:00pm  

Taupo CBD: Pick up 6:00am / Drop off 6:30pm

  • All times are approximate. 

  • Return transfers from Adrift base (53 Carroll St, National Park Village), Turangi accommodation and Taupo CBD accommodation are included in the price.

  • We do not offer Whakapapa Village and Ohakune transfers in winter. 

  • Transfers from Turangi and Taupo CBD require a minimum of 4 people.