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Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
It is time to experience walking in an alien world right on Earth. Yes, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand has a landscape that looks from another world.

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It is spewed with craters, active volcanoes, lava flows, volcanic rocks, and much more.
The fiery red crater is magnificently balanced with the blue and emerald lakes.
Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to be brave, incredibly fit physically as well as mentally to complete this hell of a hike.

Facts About Tongariro Alpine Crossing Hike

Distance: 19.4 km point-to-point
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island of New Zealand

Getting Started

You will start your hike from Mangatepopo Valley near Whakapapa. The track runs along a stream with edges of old lava flowing towards the valley head.

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You can walk in either direction and take up many side trips along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Try heading towards Soda Springs, a 15-minute side trip which will lead you towards an oasis of yellow buttercups and white foxgloves.
Take an extra hour to walk from Ketatahi to Mangatepopo when hiking the track in reverse.

Reaching Mt. Doom

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Half an hour into the hike from Mangatepopo car park, you will reach Mt. Doom. The ground will turn darker; there will be plenty of volcanic boulders around the landscape.
The mountain climb is quite strenuous as it turns steep and tiring. The plus point: the higher you get the better the views.

The Climb Down

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Once you climb up the saddle, the path will decent and ascent into two different craters. It passes along the Emerald Lake and the edge of Blue Lake.

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The last two hours involves walking down a long descent on the northern side of a volcano passing along the Ketatahi Hot Springs.

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Carry your own drinking water down the hike as most of the natural water is often scalding hot, filled with minerals and dissolved metals making it undrinkable.

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It takes at least two hours to walk down the long descent. Mangatepopo is a higher elevation than Ketatahi. So, it adds 200 meters of climbing.

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Tongariro Alphine Crossing is filled with adventure, active crater, steam vents, flowing lava, beautiful lakes, and an unforgettable view. This is one of the greatest single-day hike you can undertake in New Zealand.