The weather can spin on a dime in the mountains, and calm blue skies can often change to a fully fledged blizzard in the space of a few hours. To hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing safely and in comfort, it is essential to plan well in advance and ensure that you are packing for any condition. It is well worth the effort to pack some extra layers before you venture outside into the crisp mountain air.
- A waterproof and windproof jacket is essential. Waterproof overtrousers are good to have also.
- Warm wool, polypropylene, or fleece base layers (tops and leggings)
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good soles. Boots are better as they give ankle support and are normally waterproof
- Food is not available for purchase on the track. Bring food that is lightweight and high energy, such as cereal bars, dried fruit/nuts, crackers/sandwiches, fresh fruit
- Water is not available on the track (stream and lake water is not OK to drink). Bring a water bottle or hydration pack of 1 - 3 litres
- First aid kit (sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief, band-aids/bandages, personal medications)
- Sunglasses and sunhat
- Warm hat and warm gloves
- Map and compass or GPS. The track is well marked but you should have at least a basic map with you
- Your camera!
You need plenty of warm and waterproof clothing to hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Cotton clothing such as jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts, are NOT suitable or safe. If you don’t own your own gear, some of the transport operators have waterproof clothing and walking boots available for hire. You can also rent jackets, over-trousers and other hiking equipment in the towns surrounding the Tongariro National Park.
We strongly recommend joining a friendly guide.