Tramper walks through snow on the Tongariro alpine crossing.
Image: Jimmy Johnson | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


With the changing seasons, it is important to be prepared for increased hazards and reduced facilities when hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Date:  29 April 2021

It has been a great summer hiking season on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit – many kiwis have enjoyed the stunning weather in Tongariro, with New Zealanders enthusiastically exploring their own backyard in lieu of overseas travel.

Now autumn has arrived we are experiencing colder weather and fast changing conditions, DOC Tongariro Operations Manager Connie Norgate wants visitors to be aware there will be a reduction in facilities and services on track, including the removal of gas cooking facilities and hut-based rangers.

“The Great Walk season closes on 30 April, so services will be greatly reduced from now on and visitors need to be self-sufficient. Please make sure you plan and prepare before coming to Tongariro.

“As winter approaches and sub-zero temperatures, snow, and ice set in, alpine skills, experience, and equipment are essential to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Tongariro Northern Circuit.”

Senior Constable Barry Shephard of Taupō Police says with temperatures dropping and day light hours reducing, the consequences of incidents on the track are much greater. “At this time of year, it’s often difficult to get helicopters to the scene of incidents, and rescues can become protracted efforts that not only pose serious risk to those who require assistance, but also to the rescuers who volunteer to assist.”

DOC and New Zealand Police want people to avoid getting caught out. Make sure you plan and prepare for your trip in Tongariro National Park and have a memorable experience – for the right reasons.

For more information on preparing for autumn and winter conditions see the Tongariro Alpine Crossing page, the Tongariro Northern Circuit page, or call into the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village.


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For weather and preparation enquiries contact:

Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre

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