Understanding the Costs: Breaking Down Your Car Park and Shuttle Fees

When planning a visit to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, most hikers choose the convenience of the private Ketetahi car park and shuttle services.

You may be wondering what the $60 ($NZD) cost is for, and what it covers.  It’s important to remember that walking the crossing itself is free, but maintaining its beauty is not!

Your fees contribute directly to car park and track maintenance, toilet servicing and more. This article gives you a break of the different components.


1. Shuttle: $36.60

The largest portion of your fee goes towards the shuttle service. This includes:

  • Operational Costs: Fuel, vehicle on-road licensing compliance, vehicle maintenance, and driver wages.

  • Convenience: The shuttle service provides a hassle-free way to get to Mangetepopo from the Ketetahi car park so you don’t have to worry about parking or the safety of your vehicle while you hike.

  • Frequency: Shuttles leave at different times in the morning, perfect for early starters and late risers!

2. Car Park: $8.70

This helps cover:

  • Security: Maintaining a safe and secure parking area for your vehicle – including on-site staff and 24/7 cameras, lighting.

  • Maintenance: Upkeep of the parking area, including any necessary repairs and cleaning.

  • Management: Staff and systems required to monitor online customer bookings, customer queries, check guests in and manage the car park efficiently.

3. NZ Department of Conservation: $5.70

This is a critical  contribution to the preservation and maintenance of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It includes:

  • Track Maintenance: Regular upkeep of the trails to ensure they remain safe and accessible for all hikers.

  • Conservation Efforts: Protecting the unique flora and fauna of the area, ensuring the natural beauty and ecological health of the park are preserved.

  • Facilities: Maintaining toilets, signage, roads and other amenities that enhance your visit and hiking experience.

  • Kaitiaki Rangers: The Department of Conservation employ a dedicated team who monitor the trail, provide safety information and maori cultural knowledge on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike. The Kaitiaki Rangers are employed from local hapu (sub-tribe), Ngati Hikairo ki Tongariro.

4. Government Tax (GST): $9.00

Taxes are an unavoidable part of most services and products. This portion of your fee goes towards:

  • General Revenue: Funding for public services and infrastructure.

  • Tourism Support: Ensuring the area remains a top destination by supporting tourism initiatives and local communities.

So overall you are contributing to the preservation of one of New Zealand’s most iconic National Park and trails ensuring it remains accessible and well-maintained for years to come!