Did the Tongrariro Crossing (no "Alpine" back then) on a sunny, snowless winter's day.
Very impressed with NZ DOC, the rangers at the huts do a good job of maintaining the huts and providing a warm welcome to all who stay at the huts/campsite. I stayed at all 3 huts along the circuit and enjoyed it very much. The Alpine Crossing area gets crowded but the other sections of the circuit were barren allowing for some well desired solitude.
Ngauruhoe, Red Crater, Rotopaunga, Tongariro
great trip though here. need to come back for Ruapehu
arrived 19 Feb, depart 21 Feb. camped in Whakapapa Motor Camp. walked to lower Tana Lake, upper Taranaki Falls, etc. Wet and foggy when I was there.
This area is incredible. I didn't get the chance to climb the peaks because of the group I was with but I plan to come back.
You really do get used to the sulfur smell in some areas also. I didn't notice it after two days.
Spent some time hiking and site-seeing here. Stayed at the camosite and had a beer in the hotel.