One of the most challenging treks that you can encounter in lush New Zealand is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Holding cultural and natural significance to the country, this 19-kilometer Crossing is not to be missed!
Its intriguing appeal rests on the fact that you have to brave a raw volcanic terrain. You read that right! Three highly active volcanoes can be seen around this area. Solidified lava flows, consistent emittance of sulphur, and loose tephra await you. It takes no genius to realize that you have to check the “volcanic risk” before scheduling a climb.
An avid hiker may find Tongariro as an exhilarating climb, but how about a novice tourist? Can you complete the demanding trek up without having any experiences of climbing a volcanic terrain? This is a question that you have to answer on your own.
Let us be honest! Reaching the farthest peak of the Crossing is nearly impossible for some people. The sulphur-filled air and the uneven terrain can put a toll on one’s body. Hikers should not underestimate how much energy can be depleted by travelling this track for at least a day (i.e., 6-8 hours). This is why, experts recommend for you to assess your fitness level first.
Prepare your body by incorporating aerobic exercises to your fitness regimen. If you rarely engage in high intensity activities then, you may have struggle with your breathing and stamina. Physical fitness is something that you have to gradually work on.
Without your continued dedication, you reached your optimum physical capacity with no sign of injuries. This is when you shall begin your preparation for the hike. Start by researching the possible weather and volcanic hazards. The best time to plan your hike is in the Autumn or Spring.
Aside from these, your main concern is your mode of transportation to and from the Crossing. Say that your preferred transportation is only available on the next day. Fret not! You can seek an accommodation option that suits your taste and budget. The authors behind the adventure blog called “Stoked for Saturday” stayed at the humble Oturere Hut.
Other boxes on your checklist must include clothing, medical kit, trail map, mobile phone, water, and food. Pack layers of clothing to match with the weather during your trip.
It is advisable to bring a small medical kit to provide first aid wherever you are.
The map of the trail is available for free at the Ruapehu region. Take a copy to lead your way. Alternatively, you may just use your mobile phone as a guide and keep it handy in case of emergencies.
Take at least two litres of water to last your entire climb. It may be heavy, but you have to make this sacrifice. You will realize that there is nowhere to fill your water bottle on the trail. For food, pack snacks rich with energy such as protein bars and mixed nuts. You can also focus on complex carbohydrates.
To motivate you to commit to the climb, you must know that the youngest child who completed it was 5 years old and the oldest was 94 years old. If they can do it…so can you!