Secure, All Day Parking And One Way Shuttle For The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Shuttles and parking are a big part of your Tongariro Crossing experience.

The crossing starts and ends in different places, so it’s crucial you plan your parking and shuttle in advance.

  • The crossing starts the Mangatepopo Car Park
  • The crossing ends at the Ketetahi Car Park

The best option to get to the crossing is to park your vehicle at the private Ketetahi car park, which is located very close to the end of the crossing, and get a one-way shuttle service from there, to the start of the crossing at Mangatepopo. 

You may have read that there is ‘no parking’ at the Ketetahi end of the crossing,  however that only relates to the small DOC car park.

This Ketetahi car park is a private car park, used by thousands of hikers every year, and is a 10 minute walk from the end of the crossing.

Your Car Will Be Secure

This is a secure car park with parking guards on site till 5pm, as well as 24/7 video monitoring with remote access – so your car will be safe, and you have ample time to get back.


Cost of the Ketetahi Car Park

The cost of the combined car park and shuttle service is just $60 per person in total, and can be booked online.

$10 of this goes directly to DOC to help them maintain the track and protect the local environment.  So when you use the car park you are contributing directly to activities that protect and preserve the crossing.

Note that bookings are essential and it’s best to secure your spot well in advance of your crossing – remember that up to 3,000 people per day can be on the crossing in peak times…

The car park closes at 7pm, which is ample time to get back. 

What’s great is that full refunds are given if bad weather means you can’t do the crossing.

Parking at Ketetahi is also the cheapest option as you are only paying for a one way shuttle, instead of a return trip.

Benefits Of Parking At Ketetahi

The best thing about parking at the Ketetahi car park is that at the end of your hike, you simply walk an extra 900 metres and you are back at your car and free to leave.

If you are relying on a shuttle to get you back to your accommodation, then it means you have to work with the schedule of the shuttle operator. If they leave at 5pm, but you finish your hike at 4.05pm, then you have no choice but to wait for nearly an hour for your shuttle.

Ketetahi Car Park Team
The Ketetahi Car Park Team

The other issue with catching shuttles at the end of the hike, is that they stop running at a certain time. This can cause stress for the first time walker who knows that they have no choice but to be finished by a certain time.

But parking at the end of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, at Ketetahi eliminates this problem.

Finish the hike, then walk to your car by 7pm and drive. 

It does not matter if you’re staying in National Park Village , Turangi or Taupo – you will get back quicker!

There is zero stress about missing your shuttle, so you can take your time, take in the amazing sites on your own terms.

Ketetahi Car Park Reviews

Can you park at Mangatepopo, at the start of the Tongariro Crossing?

There is a 4 hour restriction at the Mangatepopo car park – so this is NOT an option for anyone wanting to walk the whole crossing end-to-end.

The Mangatepopo car park is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) who have restricted the parking times as a way of managing crowds.

It is an option if you are going to walk for a few hours, then turn around and return to where you started, but this is a minority of people.

Ketetahi Car Park - How It Works

You have to book a spot in the car park, and this includes the shuttle to the start of the crossing.

On the day of your hike, park your car and your shuttle will be waiting for you.

There are 6 different shuttle providers that transport you to the start of the Tongariro Alpine crossing at Mangatepopo, so you will not get left behind!

  • Active Outdoor Adventures
  • Backyard Tours
  • Cross Roads
  • Tongariro Panda Shuttles
  • National Park Shuttles
  • Te Ha o Tongariro


Book you car park and shuttle at Ketetahi well in advance of the day you will hike the crossing. In peak season, spaces can go quickly so it’s best to book early.

After you complete the crossing, it’s an easy 10 minute walk back to your car. It’s worth noting the car park does close at 7pm – but that is ample time to finish the walk and get back to your car.

Keep In Mind When You Park At Ketetahi Carpark...

How far is Ketetahi from Mangatepopo?

It takes around 19 min to get to the start of the track at the Mangatepopo end of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Where is Tongariro National Park?

Tongariro is in the North Island of New Zealand. Tongariro National Park covers 786 km2 and touches the heart of North Island within an hour of Lake Taupo, 330km south of Auckland City and 320km north to Wellington city by road. National Park Village is in the heart of the park and is a popular spot for accommodation for those hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There are plenty of other nearby places to stay such as Turangi, Ohakune and Whakapapa.

What if bad weather means we can't walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing?

Yes! You will get a refund if bad weather means prevents you from hiking the Tongariro Crossing.

Can I get a return shuttle from my accommodation?

Yes, but remember these shuttles run to a schedule, so at the end of the walk, you will almost certainly have to wait for your shuttle. Driving and parking at the Ketetahi end of the crossing means you are in complete control of what happens after the hike when you get to the end of the track.