Earliest Tongariro Alpine Crossing Daily Shuttle

Our Service

We have operated the earliest Tongariro Alpine Crossing Daily Shuttle since 2001. We recommend going early so you can enjoy peace and quiet on the hike, rather than walking with the crowds (500 hikers per day average). Starting at 5.45am also means you can complete over half the climbing before the heat of the day.

Depart Discovery Lodge Arrival at Start (Mangatepopo)
5.40am 5.55am
(earliest daily shuttle service since 2001)
Depart Finish (Ketetahi) (Mangatepopo at present, see Note 3 below) Arrival at Discovery Lodge
12.30pm (earliest daily shuttle service) 1.00pm
1.30pm 2.00pm
2.30pm 3.00pm
3.30pm 4.00pm
4.30pm 5.00pm

Note 1: When the 5.45am bus is fully booked, the next departure from Discovery Lodge is 6.15am, then 6.45am, then 7.15am etc. If you want a later shuttle we can organise this for you with a different shuttle company, however we highly recommend going early for your own enjoyment.

Note 2: The Discovery Shuttle typically operates from the start of November through to Easter. If you book transport outside this period we may organise a local shuttle to transport you to and from the Crossing. Therefore drop off times in the morning and pick up times in the afternoon will be different than the Discovery schedule above.


Enjoy The Crossing At Your Own Pace

Our shuttle service at the finish allows great flexibility. You can walk at your own pace without rushing but not have to wait hours at the finish if you are a faster walker. You also have plenty of time for Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro side trips if you wish.

Bookings Are Essential

Our bus has 22 seats, so it is essential to book if you would like to secure a seat on our earliest shuttle.

Closest Shuttle Service to Mangatepopo Start, & Free Parking

Discovery is the closed shuttle bus service to the Mangatepopo start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing by more than 5km. We also have plenty of free secure parking available. Click here for our location >>

Qualified Local Advice

You are in experienced hands when you choose Discovery for the Crossing. Callum Harland (owner operator) was born in the Ruapehu district and has spent all his life in the area. He is an international mountain athlete with a genuine passion and appreciation for mountains, especially those of the Tongariro National Park. He has represented New Zealand 5 times at the World Mountain Running Championships, winning a team Silver in 2005 and a team Bronze in 2000. His best time for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 1.25hr.


Business Hours
Open 7 Days 8am to 8pm