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Situated in New Zealand's oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world. Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. The track passes over varied and spectacular volcanic terrain including the peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu. Cold mountain springs, ancient lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an enjoyable and memorable trip. Many who complete the 19.4km journey will tell you the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect.?The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one-way track; it begins and ends at different points so return transport must be arranged before you begin your hike. In the summer season (approximately November to April) you can arrange this with local transport operators, your accommodation provider or visitor information centres. Alternatively you can drive to either end of the track, walk part of the track and return to your vehicle. Shuttle buses drive you to the beginning of the track at Mangatepopo in the morning and pick you up at the end of the track at Ketetahi in the afternoon. Prepare for the elements. Take warm clothing, food and water. Notify someone of your departure and intended return time. Wear comfortable tramping shoes.