The Round the Mountain Track is the name given to the 4 - 6 day tramp around Mt Ruapehu. It traverses a myriad of landscapes, ranging from mountain beech forest, tussock-country and alpine herb fields; to desertlands and glacial river valleys. Although a greater part of the track is in an alpine environment, there are no major alpine passes.
- Rainfall causes river and stream levels to rise quickly - they may not be possible to cross safely, particularly Whakapapaiti and Mangaturuturu rivers on the western side. Never cross a flooded river!
- Whangaehu Valley is a lahar path, be aware of this volcanic hazard
- Backcountry hut tickets or a backcountry pass are required for the huts and campsites (reservations required for Waihohonu in peak season)
You can hike the Round the Mountain track in either direction; here we describe it going clockwise. Consider recent or forecast rainfall in choosing your route.
Snow and ice covers a significant part of the track. Crampons and ice-axe, and experience using them are essential, as is winter-weight warm and waterproof clothing.
Plan and Prepare
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand
Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip. Before starting out, trampers should check the weather forecast and track conditions -Tongariro National Park weather is extremely changeable all year round. Be prepared for bad weather at all times.