WHAT TO WEAR ON THE TONGARIRO CROSSING
Clothing To Wear On The The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Appropriate socks – avoid cotton and go for polyprop, as cotton socks will be cold, heavy and uncomfortable if they get wet.
- Dress in layers such as a Merino or polyprop underlay. Don’t bother with cotton t-shirts or jeans – this is not a normal walk in the park! Layers mean you can also take items on/off as you experience different temperatures during the day.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket
- Waterproof/windproof pants
- Hat and/or beanie
- Sunglasses – the glare can be intense!
- Hiking Poles – optional, but they will make the downhills more manageable.
Shoes For The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Good quality footwear is a must have. You CANNOT do the Tongariro Crossing in sneakers.
A normal pair of sneakers or trainers will not be sturdy enough on rugged and/or loose terrain.
You will need shoes that canl:
- Support your ankles and give you better stability – important when you head downhill
- Be waterproof – walking on heavy, wet socks and shoes is not fun!
- Have good grip. Slipping on the track is a risk, so hiking boots with good grip are recommended.
Bonus Tip: Cut your toenails. This sounds weird to mention, but long toenails will result in an uncomfortable and even painful walk – especially as you walk downhill, where there is more pressure on your feed. Keep ‘em short!
Other Things To Take On The Crossing
- Sun Protection. You can’t escape the New Zealand sun while on the crossing. Aside from a few kilometres at the end, there is no shelter or shade. So bring sun protection of your choice.
- Your phone
- Torch (consider a head torch) and spare batteries
- Toilet paper
- A map of your walk. The track is actually well marked but you should take a map anyway – it will weigh nothing and may come in handy.
- First aid kit – pain relief, band-aids, bandages, pain killers, etc
- Hand sanitiser
- Face Mask – you may need one for the shuttle ride
Food and Drink needed for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
There are no cafes or vending machines on the track.
This means you need to bring your own kai (food) and wai (water).
Everyone has different dietary preferences, but ultimately you want to bring food that is
- Easy to carry in your pack without getting damaged/squashed.
- Give you energy – either a hit of energy or a slow release depending on your preferences
- Needs no preparation – hence why snack/chocolate bars are popular
It’s crucial to bring at least two litres of water, and it’s worth noting that there is no drinkable water anywhere on the crossing.