Notices

Tongariro NP hikes - advise please!

Reply

May 23rd, 2016, 11:08 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 65
Tongariro NP hikes - advise please!

We're planning two days (3 nights) in late November for day hikes in Tongariro NP. We usually double the time estimates for hikes. Our handicapped hiker is able to tackle a lot, but he isn't fast - and we like to stop and look at things. The "double" time estimates keeps us out of trouble. We're looking for walks and day hikes that are 4 hours or less. We plan to stick to "Moderate" or easier level hikes. We don't need well formed trails, but miles of very uneven rocky surfaces would be tough. We won't be tackling the Tongariro Crossing hike!

On the Park website, there are a number of walks and short hikes that meet our criteria. My questions for those who have hiked in Tongariro: What are your favorite short hikes? Ones you wish you had skipped? And which village is a good base for our 3 nights? We'll be staying in a small hotel/B&B/apartment/back packers type place, not camping.

We need a bit of advise about our North Island itinerary too, but I'll make that a separate post.

Thanks!
wendy236 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 23rd, 2016, 11:31 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 567
Turangi is a great little place for a base. Have a look at Creel Lodge for accommodation. There is a supermarket and cafes/restaurants in the area as well as a hot pool complex.
Or you could stay at the Chateau to be right in the middle of things but there's is not much else around so you would have to eat there every night.
As for the walks the Taranaki Falls would be worth the effort. We do some part of the Tongariro trail every year when we have our winter holiday in Turangi. Not that the others aren't good but this one is close by. Every walk I've done in the area has given me a different experience.
My favourite is the Lake Rotopounamu track which is closer to Turangi. You cannot see the lake from the road but walk in the bush and there it is. It's a nice contrast to the wide open spaces of the other walks.
tasmangirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2016, 07:24 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 65
tasmangirl,

First I love your name - we're also headed to Tasmania this trip! Thanks for the favorite hikes - and base area.

Do others have favorite hikes to suggest? Or warnings about ones that may not be so good? I suspect we'll be choosing hikes based on weather. No views if it's stormy - head to the "interesting" forest areas instead. Or (hopefully) - heading for the hikes with great views when the weather cooperates!
wendy236 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2016, 10:23 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 567
Thanks Wendy.
I am a kiwi who grew up in the Nelson area so my name comes from Tasman Bay.
Tasmania is on my bucket list as well.
Maybe look at National Park as a base or even Ohakune. Apart from staying at the Chateau you will have to do some traveling to the walks so it all works out the same. Winter may hang around longer this year as we have had a very mid autumn but who knows. The winter season finishes at the end of October. I-site offices will be able to help with weather information -there's one at Whakapapa and Turangi.
tasmangirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 05:28 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 65
Ah - Tasman Bay. We're looking forward to exploring that area too!

We will be in the Tongariro area the end of November, so hopefully we won't run into ice or deep snow. We will have some warm layers with us!
wendy236 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 08:36 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
Disclaimer: I haven't been to the places I'm about to suggest. But I've been researching for over a year for our upcoming trip to North Island (our 5th trip to NZ) in Feb, 2017. We will be spending 2 nights Turangi and then continue on to Ohakune. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing looks like an endurance test to me so we will just do short walks.

If you continue driving the road beyond Whakapapa, all the way to the end, you'll be at the base of the chairlifts that operate all year. It would worthwhile to take the lifts to the Knoll Ridge Cafe at the top to soak in the views. The cafe is also a beautiful building.

This is not my blog, but offers good insight: http://ultimatehotchocolate.com/2013...k-new-zealand/

And here are some good pictures of the cafe: http://www.archdaily.com/231968/knol...t-architecture

Either before or after you've done the lifts, from the "top of the Bruce", where you parked your car, is a walk to Meads Wall. It was a sight used in LOTR and should be an easy 30-minute walk. http://www.nationalpark.co.nz/index....ort-walks.html

We will be staying in Turangi and I anticipate about a 40-minute drive to Whakapapa.

Hope that helps and I also hope that anyone who has actually done the chairlift of Meads Wall will chime in.

I wasn't as impressed with Lake Rotopounamu as Tasmangirl was. To me, it was just "OK". We walked in in December of 2011. It didn't offer that many views of the lake and was a bit too much forest walk for my taste. The track is well-formed, so your friend will have no trouble with it.
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 08:38 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
That should read "I also hope that anyone who has actually done the chairlift OR Meads Wall will chime in."

I should learn to proofread before hitting "submit"!
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 01:09 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 65
Taking the chair lift to the Cafe sounds like fun! I also thought a guided Crater Lake hike might be nice. But some of the info I've seen indicates that the chair lifts are closed in late November. Does anyone know a reliable source of info to find out if the chair lifts and crater lake hikes will be open in November?
Thanks!
wendy236 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 02:40 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
I just sent an email to [email protected] and I'll let you know what they say when I get a reply.
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 25th, 2016, 07:10 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 65
Thanks! I'll be very interested in their reply! It would be really nice to know before our trip whether the chair lifts will be running or not.
wendy236 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2016, 04:21 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
Okay, just heard back! This was their reply:

"Thank you for your email We do close for the Winter Season and then reopen for Summer. This year we commenced our summer programme on the 16th of Nov, however, dates are yet to be confirmed for Summer 2016. So if you give it a week or two grace after the 16th, that will give you something to work with perhaps. "

So it appears they opened "summer season" mid-November of 2015. No guarantees of when they will open in 2016. Perhaps keep an eye on this page:
http://www.mtruapehu.com/summer/chairlift-rides/
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2016, 10:55 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 567
We are usually down that way end of winter so I did not know they opened the lifts. But it is a very popular tourist area and they are probably trying to get some tourist $$$ in.
Years ago they had the lifts open one summer and we rode up and walked down - very very hard on the knees and took ages with all the big loose bits of scoria. For a slow walker this would be too much.
We always did Lake Rotopounamu as a family walk when we took our kids there every winter school holidays. The weather or wind made the other more exposed walks on the mountain less enjoyable but you are here at a much better time for weather.
tasmangirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:18 AM.