Tongariro Crossing

Simply unmatched in its rugged beauty and total sensory experience, the iconic Tongariro Crossing, is a superlative one-day walk across the dramatic, volcanic landscape of Mount Tongariro.

At River Birches we’ve been hosting guests from all over the world who wish to undertake the Tongariro Crossing, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest walks. Our guests enjoy our exclusive, privately guided experience and helpful preparation for the journey. Your Guide will take you on an adventure of exploration highlighting the very best features of the Crossing. The insights that your Guide can give you about this unique environment go beyond what you can see at first glance.After the exhilaration of having completed the walk, along with obtaining stunning photographic memories of the adventure, our guests enjoy coming back to the comforting luxury and seclusion of River Birches to share their special experiences.

The Crossing begins in the Mangatepopo Valley where the track ascends the Mangatepopo stream surrounded by ancient and recent lava flows that originated from nearby Mount Ngauruhoe. Walkers can take a five-minute detour to see the icy cold Soda Springs and waterfall emerging from the old lava formations. The track then winds up to the South Crater into an incredible mountainous realm with its eroded volcanic terrain, evidence of the glacier that once spectacularly shaped it. A further short climb takes you to the rim of the amazing Red Crater with glorious panoramic views of the Tongariro National Park, including Mount Ruapehu – the mountain stand-in for the fictional ‘Mount Doom’ in the cinematic production of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Views of the stunning Emerald and Blue crater lakes complete this stunning natural masterpiece near the summit.

Unsurprisingly, summer often finds the Tongariro mountain tracks filled with walkers. Fortunately, River Birches offers an exclusive, privately guided crossing by an experienced mountain guide who will assist you to escape the crowds, enjoy the best vistas and reveal some of the secrets of the mountain.

Tongariro River

American writer Zane Gray fished this river the 1920s regaling readers with tales of huge Rainbow and Brown trout in numbers so prodigious it caused a stampede of fisherman from around the globe, fishing its fast flowing teal-green waters. Shortly after, even the Queen Mother was drawn to fish the Tongariro at the area now known as the Duchess Pool.

The River Birches lodge is located alongside the banks of the Tongariro making it the perfect refuge for all manner of river based activity, from fly fishing iconic trout pools, through to whitewater rafting, kayaking and hiking the scenic bush-lined walks spanning both sides of the river.

Tongariro Lodges

Staying at River Birches lodge puts you in the heart of all the Tongariro region has to offer. After exploring the scenic delights of the Tongariro Crossing or walking the beautiful river tracks, soak in River Birches’ cedar hot tub with a chilled glass of fine New Zealand wine, or order a massage and contemplate your options for gourmet dinning.

River Birches is all about understated luxury that offers the discerning traveler great value at an affordable price. Lodge rooms provide sumptuous comfort with all modern conveniences and technology, while The Cottage at River Birches provides a three bedroom ‘home-away-from-home’ for families and larger groups.

For exploring the Tongariro make River Birches your ‘go to’ destination.