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I will be visiting north NZ and i will reach the National Park around 30th March or 1st April. Does anyone know if it is more likely or less likely the weather be suitable for the walk around these dates? Will greatly appreciate cos I am slightly short of time, and I'm thinking to allocate the walk one more day in case the weather is not appropriate. I will be very disappointed if I don't get to do the walk....
We are having a very unusual summer, and this region has just been declared a drought area. We are being told we probably won't get rain until April. But who knows. Suffice to say it's looking good for you, but nothing is sure.
You must still prepare your day for the worst, ie take good gear. The mountain is notorious (well it's normal for mountains), to change in very short time to very bad weather conditions. Even if it doesn't rain or snow, the wind could be horrid. A wind/waterproof jacket is a must for this hike. Will you do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, or are you thinking of just some surrounding walks?
Dear Kiwi! :)
Thank you for your amazingly prompt and helpful reply!
I am looking to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for sure! Was even thinking to do the Northern Circuit and camping, however I'm all alone and not too sure of that at the moment.
I wouldn't camp there alone. But it could be last minute, but you could meet someone in Taupo to go with you, if you stay at the backpackers. However they are still strangers aren't they .
The weather around tongariro is not fixed .At some places its dry and weather change frequently in this area.
I have been following the weather forecasts these few days, and I am expected to arrive only next week wednesday/friday for the hike, early April, due to some delay. Forecasts says rain next wed/fri those few days, however, based on your experiences, what are the chances the rain will set in then? I really hope to get up there on a good day, this is totally why I am going to NZ (and only doing the North Island) ! :)
I think there's a good chance you'll have nice weather. I'll ask my weather friends, and Taupo locals how those dates are shaping up. But whatever, you still need a very good jacket, in case the mountain throws you a curly one.
Dear Kiwi, thank you so much!!!! Looking forward to your replies from your expert friends :) My ideal arrival is on the friday.
It sounds like rain is predicted as you read. Best advice is to allow your 3 days to be flexible, and take it day by day, referring to local weather information when you get to Taupo. That way, you should get your Alpine hike in one of those days. I must say, being up there on the mountain in bad weather is not such a good experience if you have no view. Sure you do the climb, but it's so much better if you can see out and see the view.
Just one bit of advice, get some wide tape and tape up the tops of your boots/socks, to stop the small pea gravel from going down into your boots/shoes as that is very uncomfortable and annoying when you are walking. Be sure to take water and food. And as mentioned before, take a strong wind/water proof coat and if you can take a fleece as well. And take sunscreen, and a hat and of course take a camera!
Be sure to tell someone your intentions, I'm not sure if you will do this independently or with a group.
Only attempt to do the side trip, up Mt Ngauruhoe, if you are very fit and strong, and have enough time. Many get caught on that mountain with exhaustion etc. The scree (stones) cause climbing up there, to be very hard and energydraining.
The weather over easter was overcast and probably cold, so they wouldn't have seen much in the early part of the day. Maybe it cleared up later.
5 people had to be rescued in and around Tongariro over that period.
So go prepared. Hopefully when you get there it won't be as busy as it was over Easter. Part of the track is closed from the last eruption, so now it's an "out and return" hike making opposing traffic difficult in some parts.