As Easter is fast-approaching, its one of the last opportunities of the autumn to do some tramping in reasonably warm weather, somewhere a little further afield than Wellington.
The plan is to go to the Tongariro/Ruapehu area, with people splitting off into sub-groups to suit their needs.
Based on the planning meeting, there are three sub-groups:
1) Four of us are doing the 4-day Northern Circuit round Tongariro. Apparently tent spaces are now fully booked.
2) Two drivers (Glenn and Jenny) are going up either Thursday night or Friday morning. Glenn can take 2 more people (but may be coming back Saturday night or Sunday) and Jenny can take 3-4 more and is flexible on when (Sunday or Monday).
The plan for this group is to do the Tongariro Crossing (car-shuttle) on either the Friday or Saturday and then potentially day trips or an easy overnighter in a hut. The DoC website link is below and there is a booklet of Walks around Tongariro that you can print out and use (its currently out of print).
Here are some options recommended by DoC/and one I've done before:
1) Day trip: Tama Lakes from Whakapapa Village.
2) Day trip (6hours) OR easy overnighter (3 hrs in, 3 hrs out) loop track. Whakapapa Village to Whakapapaiti Hut (needs 3 hut tickets) via Whakapapa Valley Track. Overnight = option to do extra hike along side of Ruapehu. Then out to Bruce Road, with side trip to Silica Rapids/Springs/Viewpoint, and back to Whakapapa Village.
3) Half day trip - Old Coach Road, Okahune. Easy walk, interesting history, pretty scenery.
ACCOMMODATION: I suggest that everyone tries to stay in either National Park Village or Whakapapa Village. Options are below and as soon as you have a ride sorted, I suggest you book ASAP as spaces will fill up quickly for Easter.
1) National Park Backpackers - Finlay Street, National Park Village, Tel: 07-8922870. www.npbp.co.nz
2) Plateau Lodge - Carroll Street, National PArk Village, Tel:[masked], 0800-861861.
3) The Crossing Backpackers - Erua RoadEast (off SH4), National Park, Tel: 078922894.
4) Howard's Mountain Lodge, National Park Village, Tel:07-8922827.
5) Whakapapa Motorcamp, Whakapapa Village, tents, cabins, lodge. Tel: 07-8923897.
For links, see: http://www.visitruapehu.co.nz/new-zealand/travelplanner/?tpaction=myItinerary&message=itemDeleted
Make sure you check the feed below to arrange rides/liase RE accommodation and contact one of the drivers ASAP. If you have a car and are happy to take passengers, please post below.