Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro National Park

Explore the volcanic heart of Tongariro National Park through a landscape of stark glacial contrasts and alpine views. Discover diverse landscapes ranging from mountain beech forest, tussock country and sculptured sands and volcanic rock on this 3 - 4 day Department of Conservation Great Walk.

Journey through dramatic (and active!) volcanic landscapes, glacial valleys, native beech forest, alpine meadows and emerald-coloured lakes as you wind past Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe.

Walking options

Full circuit

You can walk the full circuit in either direction. Most people take 3 or 4 days, with 2 or 3 overnight stays. Very fit people can walk it in 2 days, but each day is at least 8 hours.

The time it takes you to walk between huts may be less or more than the stated time. Your fitness level and weather conditions affect how long it takes.

Shorter options

There is a range of shorter walking opportunities, suitable for the whole family and for those with less time available. You can do a walk for a few hours or a whole day or an overnight stay in one of the huts or campsites.

Places to stay

There are three huts, with campsites close by on the Tongariro Northern Circuit: Mangatepopo, Oturere and Waihohonu.

Ketetahi hut and campsite are no longer available for accommodation following damage in the August 2012 volcanic eruption.

Huts and campsites must be booked in advance in the Great Walks season. Outside the Great Walks season, it is first come, first served.

Camping is not allowed within 500 metres of the Tongariro Northern Circuit Track.

Seasonal restrictions

In the Great Walks season (23 October 2020 – 30 April 2021):

  • Bookings are required for huts and campsites
  • Huts have gas cooking stoves and resident wardens

Outside the Great Walks season (1 May 2020 – 22 October 2020):

  • Facilities are greatly reduced
  • Avalanche risk exists
  • Experience is required
  • Bookings are not required – huts and campsites are first come, first served

Track descriptions

Check the DOC website for track descriptions, safety messages, and current track alerts.

Information, bookings, and transport

Contact the Taupo or Turangi visitor information centre for the latest weather conditions, transport options, and hut bookings.

Find out everything you need to plan for this track and others in Tongariro National Park on Plan My Walk

Distance 43.1km
Time 3 - 4 days
Physical rating Intermediate
Direction Loop
Transport & guides Yes. Click here for more information
Dog access No dogs

Opening times

Business hours
Open every day. Free entry
+64 7 892 3729
Physical address:
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park
New Zealand
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