From 1 November 2019 until the end of the summer walking season, DOC will assess the weather and if necessary, apply a ‘Not Recommended Today’ advisory for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Tongariro Public Safety Senior Ranger Theo Chapman says the advisory will support visitors to make informed and safe decisions before they attempt this challenging 19.4 km hike.
“Many track users are not experienced hikers, misjudge how challenging the track is and are often not appropriately dressed or prepared for changeable alpine weather conditions.
“The advisory will be implemented alongside other initiatives aimed at ensuring our visitors are safe and have a great experience.
“The initiatives include enhanced pre-visit information, safety signage at key decision points and Kaitiaki Rangers assisting hikers on the track,” says Theo Chapman.
Signage will be posted at the start and end of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track, electronic signs will be installed on highways at both road ends, and a notice will also be posted at the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre.
The weather parameters are based on the Metservice forecast for Tongariro National Park at Red Crater. The advisory will be applied if any of the following parameters are forecast for 12:00 pm or 6:00 pm:
- Wind speed of 65 km per hour or greater between the time of 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Wind speed of 50 km per hour or greater and precipitation of 10mm or more between 6:00 am and 12:00 pm, or 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm
- Wind chill of minus 10 degrees Celsius or colder on a fine day
- Wind chill of 0 degrees Celsius or colder with any amount of precipitation
- Severe Weather Warning issued for Tongariro National Park
DOC will advise tourism operators and transport concessionaires of potential advisory days on Monday and Thursday each week. Operators will be expected to check daily if weather advisory parameters have been exceeded and advise their visitors accordingly.