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Distance 19.9 km Duration 6h 45min Ascent 1138 meters Length Single-Day Location Waikato Trip Grading Fit

One of the must-do walks on the North Island which takes 6 – 7 hours of fairly strenuous effort, careful planning and attention to the weather. If really fit and brave try doing it leaving Mangatepopo hut at 3am to get the sunrise on Red Crater. The tramp starts at 1100masl at Mangatepopo, rises to almost 1900m on Red Crater then falls to 760 at the northern car park near Lake Rotoaira Road so be prepared for some serious temperature drop as the ascent is made. If high winds or other inclement weather is forecast think twice before starting and ensure full wet-weather and cold gear is carried plus, especially in warm weather, in excess of a couple of litres of water – there is none available once you start. The path is first rate most of the way to the foot of the staircase, excellent up the new steps and stairs and can be downright treacherous on the ascent to Red Crater. The descent from Red Crater to the Emerald Lakes is very loose and rough and caution is needed. But it is possible to avoid the worst part by looping NW the N through Central Crater. DOC has rerouted much of the track from near the Blue Lake down past the Ketetahi Hut and now avoids going near the hot springs.

Last updated Oct 2015

Start Point: Easting 1823054 Northing 5663943

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