Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Walk – WINTER SPECIAL 2020-09-15T08:14:47+00:00

This Winter your world famous backyard awaits you… Explore the mighty Tongariro National Park the way it used to be; with no crowds! 

Lock in this great winter special now! You can postpone your trip at anytime up until 30 April 2021 at this great price.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter
Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter
Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter
Tongariro Alpine Crossing in winter

Winter transforms one of the world’s most famous one-day walks into a spectacular snow-white wonderland. Let our expert guides take you there on a sensational day out in Tongariro National Park.

Our winter trips run from 1 May to 31 October. With the summer crowds long gone, this is your chance to see the Tongariro Alpine Crossing as tranquil and unhurried as it used to be. Snow and ice blanket the landscape’s amazing lakes and craters, creating scenes even more surreal than in summer. The views are better, too, the crystal-clear bringing even Whakaari (White Island) – 200km away – into focus on a good day.

There are new sensations and new skills to learn, with no previous alpine experience necessary. Our expert guides provide all the gear, skills and personal attention you need to stay safe, warm and happy – come snow, rain or shine.

Expect to spend half the trip hiking through the crunchy, sparkling snow, which makes for surprisingly smooth going. And keep your fingers crossed for some icy terrain, as this offers a chance for you to try the ice axe and crampons, and snap a few ‘hardcore’ photos to show the folks back home!

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the peace and pristine beauty of a hike above the snowline, our winter Tongariro Alpine Crossing tour is for you.

This is a Tongariro Alpine guided tour. We do not guarantee reaching the Ketatahi end.  Safety regarding weather, avalanche, ice and hypothermia are taken into consideration when securing our exact route for the day.

We take all individual and group bookings. If you are travelling alone please book as we generally always meet minimum numbers, especially on good weather days.

Price per person: $175

Minimum age 12 years


Guide/s, transport between the Adrift Tongariro base and the activity, all mountain equipment including helmet, crampons and ice axes if required for winter conditions.

Adrift have available for hire personal equipment, footwear and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need. Please see the “What to bring” tab for a full list of gear available for hire and pricing.


Tour starts and finishes at the Adrift Tongariro Base 53 Carroll St, National Park Village. Winter (1 May – 30 September)

Meet at the Adrift Tongariro Base: 7:00am             Return: 5:30pm

Meeting times during October may change depending on track conditions and snow levels on track. It is essential that you call Adrift Tongariro between 10:00am – 5:00pm the day prior to confirm tour departure time. +64 7892 2751.

Morning of the tour

Meet the team at the Adrift base the morning of the tour where our guides will check everyone in, go over the day’s trip conditions and assess and provide the required equipment, and additional clothing and boots if needed.

Once we meet you, you are under our guidance so you can then relax and enjoy the journey with Adrift.

Return Transfers

Return transfers are not included in this tour. If you require return transfers from Taupo, Turangi or Whakapapa please see our Premium Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Walk.

Gear List

  • Water (1-1.5 litres)
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc)
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • backpack per person
  • hiking boots
  • thermal longs and/or walking trousers & over-trousers
  • 3 warm top layers (wool, merino, thermals, fleece, soft shell etc. are good layers)
  • Waterproof raincoat
  • Warm hat and gloves

Gear Hire

Adrift Tongariro has available for hire personal equipment footwear and clothing to supplement that which you don’t have and need including boots, socks, thermal longs, fleece longs, waterproof pants, thermal tops, fleece tops, waterproof tops, warm gloves, warm hats, sun hats, sunglasses, backpacks, walking poles and sleeping bags and liners.

  • Boots $20
  • Clothing items $10 each
  • Clothing accessories (gloves, hats and sunglasses) $5 each
  • Backpacks $10 each.

Fitness and Experience

A reasonably good level of fitness is required. If you are concerned about your fitness, please let your guide know before commencing the walk as there are options they may be able to offer if your concerns come to fruition. The winter time taken for the trek is approximately 8 hours and because we are limited for daylight hours in winter we need to keep a moderate pace during the day.  We start walking at approximately 8:30am and finish at approximately 4:30pm with a number of stops including a half hour stop to fit crampons and instruct in their correct use and a 15 minute stop for lunch.  Our walking pace is about 3kms per hour which is easily achievable for just about everyone.

Fitness and age are inversely proportional, unfortunately.

15-40 Years – The fitter you are the less one hurts the day after, just about everyone in this age bracket should be able to get over in the time allocated, unless exercise is a dirty word.

40-55 Years – Most should be able to get over in the time allowed, some may hurt the following day.

55+ Years – A good average level of fitness for the age is needed to ensure one can make it over in the time permitted.

Crampons and ice axes are required and our guides are there to show you how to use them safely. No alpine experience is required when undertaking a guided trip.

Terms and conditions

The terms and conditions listed below are specific to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Guided Walk Kiwi Winter Special and Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake Guided Walk Kiwi Winter Special and supersede the corresponding sections in the Adrift Tongariro’s standard Terms and conditions. All other standard Terms and Conditions apply please see www.adriftnz.co.nz .


To meet with current Covid-19 NZ regulations. All bookings are subject to the following.

Payment in full is taken upon booking.

Confirmation of booking will be emailed once payment is received in full.

Confirmation of booking will serve as receipt and if applicable GST invoice.

Single Person Bookings

We take all individual and group bookings. If you are traveling alone please book as we generally always meet minimum numbers, especially on good weather days. Our Minimum group size is three people. Prices are based on a minimum of three people.  Single customers will be accepted but should the minimum number of three not be met we will charge a surcharge of an extra person or re-book the client onto a date when minimum numbers have been met.  If possible and agreeable with all parties, single customers will be placed with a group and there will be no surcharge.


New Zealand weather is extremely changeable and thus impossible to forecast accurately.  Adrift Tongariro have the right to reschedule an adventure should we consider the weather to cause too high a risk. Adrift Tongariro guarantees a departure in all weather conditions, provided we can offer one safely.

We thrive and excel in the wind, rain, sleet, snow and even hot and humid conditions. Our guides are fully qualified and have the experience to handle all conditions. For all tours decisions are made at the meeting time for that tour at the Adrift Tongariro base.

All departures meet at the Adrift Tongariro base 53 Carroll St, National Park Village.

In the event of adverse conditions, the following options are available at either the client’s request or Adrift Tongariro’s decision:

Option 1 Adrift Tongariro commences the tour with the intention of completing the tour.

If during the tour the weather encountered is not safe to proceed along the stated route, the guide will make the decision to turn the group around for safety as a result of the adverse elements (not client discomfort). If we return to the start of the hike within 4 hours of the tour commencement then we will offer the client the ability to postpone the booking anytime until January 1st 2022. No refunds will be given. In the event the tour route fails to be completed because of conditions but exceeds the 4 hour return time, then Adrift Tongariro may offer another future trip with a 50% discount applied.No refunds will be given.

Option 2 At the tour meeting time at the Adrift Tongariro base the Adrift Tongariro team will gauge the safety of the route. Adrift Tongariro will deem the weather to be unsafe if there is consistently 10mm or more of rain combined with wind gusts of 70 km/h or higher, forecasted for the 6 hour period starting at the commencement of the tour. If we believe that the advertised route should not be attempted for safety, Adrift Tongariro will suggest either an alternate route where the client will get to see similar terrain as they would on the tour booked without the same exposure to the weather, or we will rebook you on the next available tour, alternatively, at your option, postpone your booking until January 1st 2022. No refunds will be given.


If for any reason you want to or need to alter the date of your tour, then you can postpone your booking until 30 April 2021 at this great price up to 7 days prior the tour date, this must be via email [email protected].  No refunds will be given.

Adrift Tongariro accepts no responsibility for the clients use of third party transportation nor any acts of god, illness or injury, affecting the client’s ability to commence their scheduled tour. No refund will be made on cancellations or if the client does not show up for their scheduled tour.


It is essential all clients phone the Adrift Tongariro base between 10:00am – 5:00pm the day prior to trip date to reconfirm tour departure time, date and discuss exact timings.  +64 7892 2751. Adrift Tongariro will not be liable to you for any losses that you may incur if you fail to do so.