If you manage to only do one hike during your visit to New Zealand, make sure it is the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island. It is considered New Zealand’s best 1-day hike and in many circles it is considered one of the best in the world.

As you pass in the shadow of Mount Ngauruhoe you can understand why Peter Jackson chose this location to be the dreaded Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings. It is an easy side trip to climb Mount Ngauruhoe, it ony adds an extra 3 hours to your day trip.

Unfortunately The Flying Kiwi doesn’t give it’s passengers the option to climb the other volcano as they have the bus meet you at the other end in exactly 6 hours; the amount of time recommended to do the crossing.

Since I love taking photos, 6 hours was barely enough to scratch the surface of the magnificent photo opportunities. However, I did my best at capturing the beauty of the mountain and the terrain of this rugged hike. There are steps and scrambles, trails and pathways as you make your way across this famous pass.

Tongariro-Crossing-new-zealand-morning

Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) Stands Tall over the Valley.

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Choosing a Trail within the Rocky Terrain

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Mount Tongariro's Magnificent Emerald Lake

woman walking tongariro crossing

Many different types of trails and terrain

Emerald lake at mount tongariro

Another one of the Emerald Lakes

car park sign at tongariro crossing

Recommended Time of Hike is 6 1/2 Hours Exactly

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The Pass Through the Valley of Tongariro

volcano hazard sign at tongariro crossing

This Area is an Active Volcano and There are Hazards

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The Final Trail Leading Back to Civilization

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23 Comments

    1. davendeb

      Hey Pete, yes the sky was incredible wasn’t it. I found the skies in New Zealand to be very dramatic. The weather changes so quickly that the clouds are always offering up interesting images against the deep NZ sky. I have never seen blues in the sky anywhere else like I did in New Zealand.

  1. Amanda

    Stunning, stunning, stunning! Unfortunately, my upcoming trip to NZ is only going to be 2 weeks long, and focused on the South Island. So it looks like I will once AGAIN be missing out on this hike! Next time, next time…

    1. davendeb

      Enjoy the South Island Amanda, When are you going to New Zealand? There are other great hikes there too so you won’t be missing out. Have a blast.

  2. ayngelina

    I know I’m the non-hiker but I actually did Tongariro. I was about 45 minutes from the top and it started raining and then hailing. I’m pretty sure I cried but I’m not completely sure because my face was soaking wet from the rain.

  3. Leigh

    I want to go – I’ve seen other blog posts on this hike but your photos are so fabulous that I want to do that hike now.

  4. wing

    Your photos are inspiring! I’m going down myself to check it out. Are there any accomodations around the mountains?

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  7. Arti

    Stunning place indeed!! Those emerald lakes are such deep rich green in color!! Magnificent landscapes.
    Have a wonderful week :)

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    1. debndave Post author

      It is beautiful isn’t it. The weather can change so quickly too, we could go back again and again and probably have a different experience each time.

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