On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Paul in St. Augustine
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best day treks in New Zealand, and it’s considered one of the top 10 day treks on the planet. It’s a one way 12 mile trip, beginning at an elevation of 3700 feet above sea level. The summit of the trek is at 6200 feet, and the trek ends at 2500 feet. Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Area, and in 1993 became the first in the world to receive a cultural World Heritage designation from that organization.
Ketatahi Carpark is the destination. Hiking time is seven to eight hours.
The trail began with a slow increase in elevation.
As the ascent began, the trail became narrower.
The Devil’s Staircase is the most difficult part of the ascent, climbing about 700 feet in slightly less than a mile.
As you twist and turn your way up the Staircase, the scenery–and the weather–change dramatically.
The next part of the trek is through the South Crater of Mt. Tongariro. A nice respite from the previous hour’s worth of climbing, with also a glimpse of the climb ahead.
At the time of this trip, mid November is the middle of spring, so the weather changes rapidly.