The Tongariro National Park is a unique and changeable environment, subject to strong weather systems. We stick to the warmer, summer months for this trip which are November to April. In November, there can sometimes still be low levels of ice and snow at the summit of Mt. Tongariro but ice-axes and crampons are not required.
Our guides are trained to pay very careful attention to the weather conditions in the days before and during this trip in order to make your outdoor experience as safe and enjoyable as they can.
Occasionally we’ll change the itinerary to select the best day to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. If it’s not wise to attempt the track on Day 2, we’ll try for Day 3 or Day 4 instead. In certain situations, the Department of Conservation will close the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track to all walkers and we must respect that.
The Tongariro massif is an active volcanic environment. It is one of the most scientifically-monitored environments in New Zealand and safety protocols are stringent. If a volcanic alert level status is raised for Mt. Ruapehu, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not affected. If a volcanic alert warning is issued for Te Maari Crater, we won’t be able to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but these events are rare. Each evening, your guide will give you a detailed safety briefing outlined the next day’s activities and what you can expect. They can explain in more detail what these levels are and how they affect the area we walk in.