We know how hard it is to judge if your fitness will stand you in good stead for a guided walking holiday in New Zealand! Our unique geography means our hiking trails can vary greatly along their length. What we think is ‘flat’ is often quite undulating to walkers from flatter countries. We like to say ‘the fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy it’ because a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required for the Tongariro Hiking Tour. Because our track surfaces vary too, from well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by tree roots, rocks and loose scree, it’s important that you’re steady on your feet with good balance and a decent pair of ankles.
A higher level of fitness is required to undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in particular, and we usually complete this hike on Day Two of the Tongariro Hiking Tour itinerary. For instance, this track is a strenuous hike of 7-8 hours, with a climb and descent of around 900 metres through an alpine environment, sometimes crossing thin patches of snow or ice at the beginning of the season in November. The ascent up Devil’s Staircase over the Mangatepopo Saddle will get your heart-pumping so in your pre-departure training program make sure you work in some tracks with steep stairs! For a more comprehensive overview of the kind of general fitness level required check out our blog post ‘How Fit Do I Need To Be‘?
How Much Weight Will I Be Carrying?
You’ll be carrying a daypack only which will contain your lunch, drinking water and warm clothing for anywhere between 4 and 7 hours a day. Depending on how much water you like to have while you’re hiking this could weigh around 3 – 6kgs. Most importantly, our guides give a comprehensive safety briefing on this particular track the evening beforehand so that you can ask questions and get good detail on what to expect. If you felt any walk was beyond your comfort level, there is an option of doing shorter hikes on selected departures or relaxing at the lodge for the day instead.
Why Walk It With Us?
You’ll be fully supported by a group of fellow walkers and one, sometimes two, professional hiking guides. Our guides understand the local conditions, they are qualified First Aiders and carry emergency beacons. You’ll be able to walk at your own pace and enjoy yourself whilst knowing our guides are there as a safety net if you need them.