From October 2023 You Will Need a Valid Tongariro Crossing Booking

From October 2023 onwards you will need to book the Tongariro Crossing – you will only be able to hike the crossing with a valid booking.

This is a major change as prior to this you did not need to book the Crossing.

The change also means that when you book your car park and shuttle you will need a valid booking first.

How much does it cost to book the Tongariro Crossing?

It costs nothing to book the Tongariro Crossing.  This is because the booking system is ultimately designed to help DOC manage the large volumes of walkers, not to make money.

There have been no indications from DOC that this will ever change.  It’s also worth noting that walking any of the other ‘Great Walks of New Zealand’ is also free.

Do I Still Need to Book a Car Park for the Crossing?

Yes, you will separately need to book a car park and shuttle for the crossing online  As mentioned above you will need your DOC booking reference in order to do this.

It’s worth noting that you will get a refund for your car park and shuttle booking if bad weather prevents you from hiking the Tongariro Crossing.

How to Book the Crossing

The only place you can book the crossing is on the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) website – click here to make a booking.

It’s important to note that you must make your own bookings.

When you make a booking you need to choose a specific day to walk the crossing, and you will receive a booking confirmation by email.

This confirmation is important because when you use the car park and shuttle service you will need to present your booking confirmation.

Why Do You Have to Book the Tongariro Crossing?

The reason hikers now need to book the Tongariro Crossing is that DOC needs to better manage visitor numbers to the Crossing.

Over the years, people have been questioning whether too many people doing the walk is a good thing for the local environment. Some days, there have been over 2,500 people crossing, which is a lot . . . 

But there’s no need to stress about not getting a spot on the crossing just yet!

When the bookings system launches, there will be no restrictions on how many people can book on any given day.  

This is because the system is new and all relevant stakeholders want to see how it works for the upcoming season.  This means you will not miss out on getting a booking.

However, that is likely to change in the future, as DOC is highly likely to want to cap daily visitor numbers.  If and when that happens, this webpage will be updated

Page last updated October 2, 2023