Tongariro National Park Walks
The Tongariro National Park has Dual World Heritage status and the Northern Circuit is part of the Department of Conservation Great Walks network. The three active andesitic volcanoes, Mt Tongariro (1967m), Mt Ngauruhoe (2291m) and Mt Ruapehu (2797m), are majestic and dominate the National Park. The Tongariro area has grown over the last 300,000 years and was formed from many different eruptions from at least six cones. Intense volcanic activity and retreating glaciers from the ice age, have all left amazing textures, colours and landscapes with the many stories of fire and ice to tell.
Adrift has experienced and personable guides who will provide you with a safe, enjoyable and memorable adventure of the Tongariro area. We look forward to showing off beautiful New Zealand at its best!
Lord of the Rings Tours & Locations
Stewart worked with the LOTR cast and crew for 8 weeks whilst they were filming in this spectacular region and whilst we don't run specific LOTR tours unless requested, all of our tours pass through LOTR country including Modor Mt Doom, the Plains of Rohan and Gollums pool.
All our guides are fully conversant and knowledgeable with where these locations appear in the movies and have great personal experiences to share as a result of working with all the lead actors.....
Eruption Update - 27 November
This Thursday 29th November the re-opening of Tongariro Alpine Crossing tracks up to Red Crater and Emerad lakes ensures visitors are not only be used safely but will have an amazing enhanced experience.
Visitor and staff safety on our tours is paramount and that has always been Adrift’s priority.
Tongariro National Park has world heritage status for it’s natural and cultural values. It is an active and living landscape and the recent events have left more exciting active features for people to view, film and photograph.
Volcanic landscapes around the world including Tongariro are first class tourism venues attracting thousands of visitors each year. Tongariro with this recent activity may have just jumped up the world-wide must do list, to perhaps the top. The world famous Emerald Lakes, depicted in everyone’s photographs of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, are even more spectacular and vivid as a result of the recent volcanic activity.
This summer will be a great time to visit, while you can still see evidence of the recent volcanic activity in an active natural landscape. There are few other places in the world where people can safely get this close to an active volcano.
At 80,000ha, the Tongariro National Park has a wide range of options for visitors in addition to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing as a whole will take longer to re-open with the section of track past the Te Maari vents remaining closed at this stage. It will be re-opened as soon as the current risks are assessed by DOC as being sufficiently low to ensure public safety. This assessment will be based on the probability of significant hazards from further eruptions.
Recent eruptions on Te Maari
Mt Tongariro’s most recent eruption was on 6 August 2012 from an existing volcanic vent, Te Maari.
As a result of this event, we now walk within 2kms of this amazing, steamy sight. According to volcanologists, the fact that the vent is now open is a good thing and almost entirely eliminates the chance of another eruption as the pressure is now continually and gradually released.
As we pass the vent, we walk on the newly repaired track and pass dozens of craters left behind from rocks blasted out during the scientifically small (but nonetheless amazing!) eruption on 6 August.
The August eruption has now changed the final two-hour section of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from what was a race to the car park before the tired muscles gave in to an enthralling sightseeing tour through the aftermath of Mother Nature’s tantrum. Sights include fresh volcanic ash, bomb craters, steaming vents, a brand new lake, a whole hillside of forest scorched by the blast and, in the last ten minutes before the end, a walk through the very visible result of the lahar.
November 2012 Eruption Update
Wow, Ray Charles is right! What a wonderful world we live in. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is famous for being one of the top 10 walks in the world. This is because of it’s route over an active volcano. Over the last decade however some have questioned Tongaririo's "active" status. Well not now, Tongariro through 6 new vents on the northern flanks around the existing Te Maari crater woke up (or more accurately, stirred) on August 6th and again on November 21st had a little yawn.
But, to put this recent event into size perspective, this most recent event was about a tenth the size of the event out of Te Maari on August 6th. The August 6th event was about a hundredth the size of the Ruapehu 95/96 eruption. The 95/96 Ruapehu Eruption was about one thousandth the size of Mt St Helens in the 1980's
The good news is that this latest event could not have been orchestrated better. It was both incredibly well timed (we all got to see it at close quarters) and incredibly user friendly. No injuries, no one lost, simply a few shrieks from some school kids and heap of life long memories and photos.
Right now, the Volcanologists are assessing and I expect that the track will be closed for the next few days until they feel comfortable that the highest probability of any future event would be that of a similarly small eruption. Until the track reopens we will be running completely safe alternate trips in the Tongariro National park including Tama lakes and Ruapehu skyline tours.....Business as usual!
Book now to ensure you don't miss out on our latest attraction, we're having a blast!....Stew