What to take
IntroductionIt's essential to have suitable equipment, clothing and food for a safe and enjoyable experience on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.
- Backpack – 40–60 litre size for multi-day hiking
- Waterproof/plastic pack liner
- Sleeping bag – 3–4 season
- First aid kit including blister treatment materials
- Survival kit including survival blanket, whistle, paper, pencil, high energy snack food
- Safety equipment relevant to the track and time of year, for example, map, compass
- Torch/flashlight and spare batteries
- Rubbish bag
- Booking confirmation and ID
- Earplugs for communal bunkrooms
Cooking and food equipment
- Drink bottle – 1–2 litre capacity
- Eating and cooking utensils – knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup, pot/pan/billy, cleaning kit, tea towel. Check individual huts for what cooking facilities and lighting are provided.
- Matches or lighter in waterproof container
- Toiletries, including insect repellent, sunscreen, and personal medication, for example, antihistamine for allergy to wasp stings
- Use a toilet when you see one and be prepared with a backup toilet option
- Sleeping mat
- Ground sheet
- Gas cooker
- For multi-day walking you'll need at least one set of clothes to walk in and another dry set to change into at night.
- Tramping/hiking boots or firm footwear – should be comfortable and well broken in
- Socks – wool or polypropylene
- Shorts – quick dry material
- Shirt – wool or polypropylene
- Under layers, top and bottom – wool or polypropylene
- Mid-layers – wool or polar fleece
- Raincoat – waterproof, windproof with hood
- Overtrousers – wind and waterproof
- Warm hat and gloves
- Sunhat and sunglasses
- Extra socks, underwear, shirt/lightweight jersey
- Lightweight shoes for inside the huts
You cannot buy food on the track.
Bring food that is lightweight, fast cooking and high in energy value. For example:
- Breakfast: cereal/porridge/oats, firm bread, honey or other spreads
- Lunch: cracker biscuits, cheese, salami, jam/jelly, fruit
- Dinner: instant soup, pasta or rice, dried vegetables or fruit, cheese or dehydrated (freeze-dried) meals.
You'll also need water, snacks, biscuits, muesli bars, tea or coffee, powdered fruit drinks and emergency food in case of any delays on the track.
May to October
For safety reasons, the Tongariro Northern Circuit doesn't operate as a Great Walk/Easier tramping track during May to October. If attempting the Tongariro Northern Circuit in that time, you'll need additional equipment.
You need to be totally self-sufficient. In addition to what to take in the Great Walks season, you also need:
- food for at least two extra days
- stove and gas for cooking
- lighter or matches
- alpine equipment: ice axe and crampons
- avalanche equipment: beacon, snow shovel, avalanche probe.
- personal locator beacon
- mountain radio or satellite messenger (optional)