My main goal for coming to Taupo was to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Just Google pictures of it and you will want to go too! Because I’m so easily influenced ever since I heard of its existence 1 week ago I just had to go there! It is supposed to be one of the best day hikes in New Zealand. Plus it is one of the places that appeared in the Lord of the Rings movies! It’s Mordor!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing (TAC) is supposedly one of New Zealand’s best one day hikes and I guess they call it that because it takes one day to hike. Its 19.4 Km which is about 6-8 hours hiking. More if you want to climb Ngauruhoe Summit or Tongariro Summit. You need to go when the weather is good and in winter you need a guide to do it. (Trust me with the weather thing…)
So I took advantage of the Easter Holidays to go Taupo and try my luck in hiking.
1. Getting to Taupo
Taupo is the closest and most convenient town if you are looking to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. From Auckland to Taupo you can drive or go by bus and its about 4 to 5 hours.
I took the InterCity bus and it took 5 hours. It was pretty good inside the bus and we did get some bathroom and eating breaks along the way so it was no bad.
2. Staying in Taupo
Once I got to Taupo I stayed one night at YHA Finlay Jack’s Backpackers (you can read my thoughts about it here YHA)
I also stayed 2 nights at Finns Global Backpackers (you can read my thoughts about it here FINNS)
There is also Base Taupo but unfortunately it was all booked and I couldn’t stay.
And if you are fancier there are plenty of other hotels and motels along town and by the lakeside.
3. Booking Tongariro Alpine Crossing
From Taupo you need to book a shuttle bus to take you to Tongariro. I went to Taupo’s iSite to book mine with Adventure HQ and it cost me $60. Doing the hike itself is free.
I took the earliest shuttle bus which departed at 6 am and they pick you up at your accommodation.
And while I waited for tomorrow to come what better to explore Taupo which welcomed me with this beautiful rainbow! And the Great Lake Taupo is beautiful guys!
Taupo is also home to the worlds coolest Mcdonalds. This was news to me. If you want to see the inside of the Mcdonalds plane go between 10 am to 4 pm. But i do believe the restaurant said 24 hours for those hungry hombres.