Should I Bring Something Nice To Wear In The Evenings?
Our shared dinners are not super formal occasions, so you could say the dress code is whatever is comfortable! Covered shoes and shoulders are always a good idea as the evenings cool off quickly. Remember, you will be carrying any non-essential gear so keep that in mind when you’re packing!
You don’t need any multi-day hiking experience to do this trip, but you will need a good level of walking fitness and the ability to carry a backpack of approx 10kgs. If you’re a reasonably active person and have a sense of adventure you’ll love it! You’ll need to carry a backpack containing your lunch, sleeping bag, a change of clothes and personal items – the guides take care of the food and cooking equipment. You are encouraged to walk at your own pace, and to rest and enjoy the many spectacular lookouts as much as possible.
Do I Need To Bring Cash?
No, cash is not essential, but you’re welcome to bring a small amount, if you wish, in case we make a spontaneous coffee or icecream pitstop! There are no shops or cafes while we’re out on the track so you won’t need cash while we’re walking.
Can I Bring A Suitcase?
For the Tongariro Northern Circuit it’s best to bring a camping or hiking pack as you’ll be carrying all of your own gear. Your guides will carry the food and equipment for the group. We can lend you one of our complimentary 40 or 70 litre hiking packs for the tour – just let us know you need one when you fill in the online booking form and your guides will have that ready for you when you meet on Day One.
Can Non-Walkers Join This Trip?
If someone in your group is not a keen walker, it’s best they sit this one out. The nature of the trail and access to this remote environment makes it very difficult to accommodate non-walkers.
For this hike we stay in back-country huts. They have bunkrooms, separate dining areas, fresh drinking water, heating, outside toilets, and large verandahs to make the most of the spectacular wilderness locations! There is no electricity or showers – dinner by candlelight adds to the special atmosphere.
If staying in a hut isn’t your cup of tea, check out our lodge based Tongariro Hiking Tour.
Weather Conditions and Itinerary Changes
The Tongariro National Park is a unique and changeable environment, subject to strong weather systems. We pay very careful attention to the weather in the days before and during this trip. Occasionally we need to delay our start day or postpone the trip according to the weather patterns in order to make your outdoor experience as safe and enjoyable as we can.
At 2pm the day before we depart, our friendly operations team will be in touch with you via phone to discuss the expected weather conditions and any changes to the itinerary we might need to propose. If we have to cancel the departure due to unsafe weather conditions we’ll regroup and transfer you to a departure date in the future or we’ll organise a refund.
How Do I Get Here?
The Tongariro Northern Circuit walk departs once or twice per month from December through to March.
We can pick you up from your accommodation in Whakapapa Village or National Park Village. There are options for parking your vehicles in Tongariro National Park while you’re out with us, please get in touch with our team for more information. We will happily drop you back to your car when we return.
If you are self-driving to Tongariro National Park, we’ll let you know where to meet us and at what time and where it’s best to park your vehicles. If you’re taking a different route please check with our reservations team, we can help you find the best solution.
For any bigger groups coming from further afield, we can arrange a private shuttle transfer, just have a word to our team and we’ll make it work.
This is a fully catered walk, we’ll take care of all your meals, snacks, wine and hot drinks while you’re out on the trails with us. Our guides carry, prepare and serve all of your meals. All meals are served in the hut dining areas and if the weather is particularly nice we might share our meal alfresco overlooking the mountains. We offer one complimentary drink with dinner as part of your walk package.
Do I Need To Bring Cash?
No, cash is not essential, but you’re welcome to bring a small amount, if you wish, in case we make a spontaneous coffee or icecream pitstop on the way there or the way back. There are no shops, cafes or lodges along the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk track so there’ll be no need for cash once we’re out walking.
Can Non-Walkers Join This Trip?
If someone in your group is not a keen walker they can still join us!. Non-walkers can go by boat and meet up with the rest of your group in the evenings. During the day they can cruise around the lake with our skipper, or relax on a beach, or try to catch one of the Lake’s elusive trout! Please contact us for more details about this option.
I suffer from terrible car sickness, what will the roads be like?
Good question! In general, the roads we travel are well-maintained, bitumen-surfaced single carriageways.
The access road to Lake Waikaremoana has a 100 kilometre section of un-sealed, dusty gravel road with many sharp corners. If the road hasn’t been graded for a while there can be surface corrugations that make the trip bumpy. If you suffer from car sickness, please equip yourself with whatever remedies you prefer to use to alleviate the discomfort. The best time to purchase medicinal supplies is in Rotorua before we leave.
If you prefer to sit in the front seat to help your car sickness, please do tell your guide! We will do whatever we can to make you more comfortable.