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Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

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Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

We are planning to visit NZ during the upcoming January and we are keen for the Tongariro alpine crossing. We are planning to reach Rotorua after visiting Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. We are seeing two options available:

1. Leave from Rotorua at 6 AM (Alpine Hot Bus has a shuttle) and return by 7 PM and then rest the next day (or)

2. First leave from Rotorua to Taupo and stay the day and take a shuttle from Taupo the next day to do the hike and rest again at Taupo, and then return to Rotorua the day after that.

The first one saves a day and also gives a spare day for changes in weather conditions, but I am concerned about the following things:

a) If we start at 6 AM from Rotorua, the hike can start by 8:30. Will it be a bit late to start the hike then?

b) Are there any hiking gear available at Rotorua for the crossing?

c) Does it often happen in summer that weather conditions are not favorable and thus have a spare day?

I am looking for advice on which of the two options would be better.We are planning to take a flight from Rotorua to Queenstown. I am not considering Turangi as the onward bus from Turangi to Rotorua is not at a convenient time as compared to Taupo.

7 replies to this topic
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

I would not even think of doing the bus from Rotorua. You are adding 4 hours of bus time to an already long day & can do a lot of damage to your muscles sitting in a bus for 2 hours after the tramp, when you should be doing warming-down exercises, esp if you are not a regular tramper.

What hiking gear would you need to hire?

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2. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

I came across that weather is unpredictable and hence was considering hiring rain coat and possibly some trekking shoes (I am not sure if my running shoes would do).

In case the 2 hour bus ride in return is a bad idea, what would be your recommended base? Will taupo work or is better to be at Turangi it self?

Ruapehu, New Zealand
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3. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

I got more experiance on the crossing than most that will be replying. Note location in profile!

Rotorua not a good place to base for the Crossing even in my book Taupo is a long way and both have an issue that if you dont complete the crossing in the time allowed you will probably be finding an expensive trip home. Just for example on average you looking at $250 back to Taupo extra and probably more by January with fuel prices as they are.

Turangi certainly a better option! It take it you are using just Buses for transport? Another option is National Park or Raurimu which has a good value accommodation. Transport can be an issue but we know of shuttle companies that run those routes. Someone else can mention the name of the company I cant as it against the rules of the forum.

You mention gear not being up to standard! Well you simply will not be allowed on a Shuttle without the correct gear. Gear hire is available from all the places I mentioned but personally your own good footwear is better than hiring a worn out pair been worn by million others.

Another factor is weather! Closer you are easier it is to get a better idea of conditions on the day! I dont know of any official transport providers in Rotorua to be honest either.

Have a read of this as well.

https:/…

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

Hi Colin I am planning to do the Crossing in a couple of weeks...do I need crampons?

Ruapehu, New Zealand
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5. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

Yes and you need to go with a Guide!

There is a heap of snow and Ice up there now and Avalanche risk!

Dont put others at risk who may have to rescue you its that simple.

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6. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

Thanks Colin. It is very useful

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Alpine crossing from Rotorua or Taupo

Colin,

I am jumping in on this post since my wife and I are planning on doing the TAC in March. I am wondering if I can park my car at the Ketetahi Car Park and maybe a company can take us from there to Mangatepopo entrance. Do you know if there is a service like this in the area?

Thanks for your help,

Ariel

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