What transport included in the Price?
We provide free pick up and drop off from accommodation in Turangi, or from the i-Site Visitor information Centre in Ngawaka Place Turangi. We can also pick up from both Hotels in Whakapapa Village on Highway 48, meet you at the Visitor Centre there, or pick you up from the numerous Lodges over in National Park Village (on Highway 4). We might even meet you at a car park near the track so that you can head to your next destination quicker.
Do you pick up from Taupo?
We can pick up from Taupo, but for an additional fee. We charge $80.00 each way and the price is per vehicle, not per person, as the cost to us is the same whether we drive one person or eight. Sometimes people stay in a different town the night after the hike, so we can shift you and your luggage if you need.
What gear is included in the price? Will I need to hire anything?
We include all of the clothing and gear that you will need in the price, including boots. Our Clothing and Equipment page explains everything that you need to know.
Will you guide us up Mt Ngauruhoe?
Our Tongariro Alpine Crossing trip goes along the base of Mt Ngauruhoe and if the clouds allow, we should get great views of this beautiful volcanic cone. There are a number of reasons that we don't guide groups up the mountain itself. The sacredness of the summits within Maori culture are acknowledged by us at Tongariro Guided Walks, so we respect the request not to stand on the highest summits of any of the mountains of Tongariro National Park. This, along with the fact that the climb up is not without risk from rocks rolling down from other climbers, climbing the upper slopes of Ngauruhoe is something that we do not offer.
What is your cancellation policy?
We believe that your time in New Zealand is precious. We always try to re-schedule your trip, or offer an alternative hike if the weather is not suitable to hike where you booked to go. If the weather is really bad everywhere, we will cancel entirely. We will often know (or at least suspect) it might cancel two days ahead. We will collect a deposit to cover booking expenses, and expect the balance of the payment on the day. If we cancel the trip due to the weather, we offer full refund, so you can go somewhere else (to different weather) and make the most of other things that might work. If you cancel the trip due to other reasons with less than 48 hours notice we will retain the deposit.
Could I travel by another shuttle company and meet you?
To keep our trips special we do not operate to the same time-table as shuttle bus companies. We will not rush the clients on our trips along so that you can match up with another company's transport. Many people who travel by shuttle bus companies do not have any idea of what they are looking at as they walk, so they hurry along and finish much quicker than us.
I am traveling alone. Does that affect the price?
If you are traveling alone we can add you to a Group that might already be booked, or create a booking just for you. If we create a trip just for you the price will reflect that it is for just one person, usually with a single person surcharge added to the usual price.
Will we see the Emerald Lakes on a half-day Tongariro Alpine Experience?
The Emerald Lakes (Nga Rotopounamu) are up in the middle of Mt Tongariro, as is Blue Lake. It takes half a day to walk there and half a day to walk back, so we can't show you the Emerald Lakes unless you commit to a full day of walking. Thankfully there are no 4WD tracks or helicopter trips either!
So, how do I make a booking?
You make an enquiry. Email, text message or phone us. We may not be able to answer immediately as we may be out and about guiding, but we will get back to you! Our enquiry page asks you some questions to give us a good idea of what sort of experience you are interested in. We will respond with further information to create a quality guided walking experience to suit you. This might include questions and information about where we will pick you up from, timings of the day and what clothing or equipment you might wish to borrow from us.
Two days before the hike, get in touch with us. Contact us either by email, SMS text message or preferably an evening phone call to that we can discuss your well-being (things change) and the weather (it is very changeable, but we should have a better idea by now) and finalise details around pick-up location, pick up time and confirm that we have your shoe size etc.
One the day of the hike. We pick you up from the place that we arranged with you and bring any equipment and/or clothing that you might have requested. As well as this we provide bottled water, lunch and snacks for a full-day walker, or water and snacks for the half day trips. The journey begins and your knowledgeable guide is with you every step of the way, there to answer your questions (we love questions), provide encouragement and allow you to make the most of your precious time in the area by telling you the stories of the things that you are looking at. At the end of the day we return you to your hotel or vehicle.