Distance : 31.7 miles (51 km) – not including side-trips.
Avg. Time : 3 days
Start / Finish : Whakapapa village
- December to March is ideal.
- Possible all year round for those with the right equipment and alpine experience.
Maps / Info :
- For up-to-date information and a basic map of the track, see the Department of Conservation (DOC) website for details.
Route / Conditions :
- As with all designated Great walks, the trail is well marked and easy to follow from start to finish.
- Although navigation should not be an issue, trampers must still be appropriately equipped for all conditions, as weather in this area is notoriously unpredictable at any time of the year.
- Weather permitting, side trips to Mt.Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro (particularly the former) are well worth the effort.
- For all you Lord of the Rings fans, Ngauruhoe doubled as Mt. Doom in Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy. Channel your inner Frodo and Sam and make the ascent!
- The scenic highlight of the circuit is the section between Mangatepopo and Ketetahi Huts, which coincides in part with NZ’s most famous, and arguably most spectacular day walk, the Tongariro Crossing.
- Both huts and camping places need to be booked in advance.
- I did this tramp back in 1995, and revisited the area again in the form of the Tongariro Crossing in 2010.
- In order to avoid the hordes of day-trippers doing the “Crossing”, try leaving Mangatepopo Hut either very early (before 7am) or after lunch.