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 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.
- Water (1-1.5 litres)
- Lunch and snacks
- Personal medications (e.g. Asthma Inhaler, blister protection etc)
- 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
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.
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.