Taupō is only 73 kilometres away from Tongariro National Park. The advantage of basing yourself in Taupo for the crossing is that it’s the nearest city to the crossing and there are lots of other options when it comes to accommodation, eating out, other activities etc.

The main feature of Taupō is of course Lake Taupō and there are plenty of options to cruise on the lake. Other popular activities include skydiving, bungee jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and more – you simply will not be bored in Taupō!

If you are staying in Taupō, the Tongariro Crossing is a fantastic activity that you can do.

It’s going to take the whole day because the Crossing takes approximately 9 hours.

So you need to plan transport accordingly.

Driving From Taupō

Driving from Taupō takes approximately 1 hour. If you drive, your best option is to leave your car at the Ketetahi Car park, where a Tongariro Crossing shuttle will then drive you to the beginning point of the Crossing at Mangatepopo.

When you complete the Crossing you can simply walk back to your car and drive back to Taupō

Shuttle from Taupō

You can also shuttle from and back to Taupō if you prefer to avoid the drive. You can arrange transport through the Taupō i-SITE or Turangi i-SITE. Some operators will also pick you up from your accommodation.

The thing to be aware of if you base yourself in Taupō and get a shuttle is that it can easily take an hours commute to and from the Tongariro Crossing, so factor that into your planning.

In fact, we recommend driving to the crossing, as you have so much more control over your day.

Can you do Tongariro Crossing in one day?

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and is regarded as among the top ten single-day treks in the world. Many who complete the 19.4 km (12 mile) journey will tell you the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect.

How long does it take to walk Tongariro Crossing?

Allow 9 hours to complete the walk. There are between 9 and 11 hours of daylight in winter, so leave early enough to complete the trip before it gets dark. Always take a head torch. Be prepared to turn back if conditions are no longer safe or if your progress is too slow.

Do you have to book for the Tongariro Crossing?

You don’t need to book to hike the trail, however, since the trail does not start and end in the same place you will want to book a shuttle to drop you off and pick you up.