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a VirtualTourist member from Singapore

Tongariro National Park

Is advisable to do the crossing in mid-May?

Is it too late to do the Tongariro Alpine crossing in mid-May? Would it be covered with snow by then and the great views gone?


5 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Christchurch

People do it. I would surely not do it - and not count on it that you can do it. Especially in winter you have to be prepared for severe weather conditions, not just snow but also heavy rain and storms and high wind, just everything that makes you wish you had stayed at home ;-)

However, I think in winter the shuttle operators send out someone with the hikers, so they do not get lost. Not 100% sure about this, so double-check it. I read it somewhere on the internet or in books.

But you never know, perhaps there are some fantastic days at the time you are there, and you could do the walk. Just get info at the Visitor Centres, check the weather on, and again with local info and DoC Centres.

This is a high alpine hike and should not be underestimated. Weather can change within an hour even in summer, and you can also get snowed in in summer. So again: Be prepared. And be prepared to give up the plan on the day if the conditions are not perfect.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from New Zealand

I would not go without being prepared to spend a night in the snow.
Snow may or may not be there, and of course you don't plan to spend the night. But you need to be prepared for that anyway. Conditions can deteriorate within an hour. Not enough time to get off the mountain.
Every year hikers get into trouble, so the smart hikers are prepared. Food and blizzard protection a must.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Singapore

Hello [VT member 594e9] and Kiwi,
Thank you [VT member 594e9] much for the replies. Looks like I better wait till summer to do this crossing.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from South Melbourne

Hi there - I would say that main thing is that you might plan to do it, and then it is quite likely that you'll end up disappointed that you can't. The weather is so changeable at that time of year. We tried to do it in April once, and the weather was too dangerous. I have completed it successfully in November. Summer is definitely more dependable.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Christchurch

Let me perhaps add the following:

On my first trip in NZ (November) we were in the Tongariro National Park area three times, and we did not see the peaks a single time.

On my second trip some years later (February) we could see the mountains from 100 km, and did the T. Crossing Track. Had we arrived three days earlier, we would have been snown in, resp. there would not have been a chance to do the walk.

In the following years I was lucky to have good views every time we travelled in the area.

I would just put it on my to-do-list if I were you, but have a good alternative plan ready if the weather conditions are adverse. Or make the alternative plan your number one on the list - and do the track if you are there and the conditions are great.

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