Book your adventurous Tongariro Crossing shuttle

Greatly enhance your Tongariro Alpine Crossing experience

Enjoy peace and quiet, and Tongariro in all it's mighty glory 

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WARNING: This shuttle is NOT for the masses !

This shuttle service is NOT for you if you value sleep more than adventure.

This shuttle service is NOT for you if you lust after the comfort of a warm bed while the sun is rising.

This shuttle service is NOT for you if you merely wish to "tick" the Crossing off your list at any cost.

This shuttle service is NOT for you if you prefer to hike with the crowds.

Huge popularity has caused crowding !

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is growing in popularity every year. 140,000 tourists hiked the Crossing last season. 

On a busy fine day over 2000 hikers can be hiking the Crossing.

This will normally mean hiking with hundreds and hundreds of tourists.

Which can cause a few horrible issues such as:

  • bottle necks of people on narrow parts of the track
  • long wait times for toilets on busy days
  • over crowding at popular places on the hike
  • no peace & quiet as you would expect in the mountains
  • feeling more like being on a busy city street at rush hour

An easy solution for adventurous souls.  

The Alpine Co* shuttle operates one of the earliest daily shuttles to the Mangatepopo start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Which means you can enjoy the Crossing in relative peace and quiet. And if you're lucky with the weather, you might witness a spectacular mountain sunrise. 

The Alpine Co shuttle will have you starting the hike as early as a little after 5am. Which means it's possible to be about 1.5 to 2 hours ahead of the masses.

* Discovery Lodge owns and operated The Alpine Co shuttle service.

Enjoy peace and quiet

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is peace and quiet and avoid the crowds. You could even experience a stunning mountain sunrise.   

A life time of Tongariro mountains. 

Discovery & The Alpine Co is owned & operated by Callum Harland. He was born and raised in the area. He's spent a life time exploring Tongariro & surrounds. 

He's passionate about mountains and giving like minded explorers the best of Tongariro. 

He's been getting up early and delivering hikers to the Crossing for the last 19 years. 

Callum is a past New Zealand Mountain Running Champion. He's proudly worn the silver fern representing NZ five times at the World Mountain Running Championships. He has won a team Silver and team Bronze at the World Champs.   

His fastest time over the Crossing is 1hr 25mins.


Discovery is the closest accommodation, camping & car parking to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  

Minimal travel time on the shuttle is ensured because Discovery is close and the shuttle operates direct to the start.

The travel time to the start is under 15 minutes.

The shuttle is not delayed due to picking up other passengers along the way.

The return shuttle after the hike is also direct back to Discovery.

It takes approximately 25 minutes to travel from the Ketetahi finish back to Discovery.  


Heart pumping possibilities of starting early...

  • Enjoy relative peace and quiet in the mountains 
  • Be inspired by a magnificent sunrise (fine days of course)
  • Be invigorated by fresh mountain air of the early morning
  • Complete all or most of the climbing before the heat of the day sets in (on hot sunny days)
  • Finish early so you can travel in leisure to your next destination
  • Take memorable pics of the Emerald Lakes, the Red Crater, the Blue Lake & much more without the crowds

Be prepared and ready

You'll feel prepared and ready to enjoy the Tongariro Crossing journey. Our local Team will make sure you have the right gear, and the weather is suitable to hike.  

Thousands of happy hikers over 19 years... 

Here's what a few have said...

"I also made use of the Shuttle bus service for the Tongariro Crossing - I would highly recommend this. The shuttle leaves early but is well worth it; the sun rising over the volcanoes is truly mind-blowing, and we were some of the first people on the walk." Nicky M, York 

"I'd highly recommend booking as early as possible the earliest bus to the start of the crossing to avoid crowds. The lodge arranged a 5am shuttle for us which arrived at the crossing just on sunrise! It was fantastic." Madeleine C, Melbourne, Australia

"Callum and the shuttle service provided were awesome! I definitely recommend taking this shuttle and getting there super early so you get on the hike first. Be sure to pack layers for the hike too. The shuttle service also gives you a map which is great." Brooke, USA

"The location here is amazing but the best part is the service that you get, Callum was amazingly helpful with ensuring that we only hiked the Tongariro Crossing if it was safe to do so, after a failed attempt on our first day, the next day the early drop off made a real difference to avoiding the crowds and making the experience as memorable as possible. Callum also provided recommendation on other trails when the weather was not suitable." Amanda H

"We took advantage of the shuttle to and from the Tongariro crossing. Callum gave us a lot of good advice on what to bring and expect and suggesting alternative hikes when our first day didn't work out weather wise to do the crossing. For convenience, we also opted to have them pack us a lunch (they were able to make it vegetarian) for the hike. My husband keeps talking about the sandwiches- they were that good. Miki and Callum were very friendly and helpful the whole stay- answering our questions about the hike and being honest about the weather and conditions. We highly recommend discovery for anyone looking for a hassle-free Tongariro experience." Lorraine N.

"they provide a very complete service for people walking the Crossing." Sarah, UK

"Discovery provides the best shuttle experience for the Tongariro Crossing." Matthew D

"The first bus gets you onto the crossing before the crowds so it's really worth doing. The staff make sure you are suitably prepared and they are very helpful with any questions you may have." Amyls86, UK

"Taking the shuttle to the Crossing from the hotel was super convenient, and it was great being the first ones on the trail."  HCr0ss, New Mexico

Enjoy blissful solitude  

Marvel at the beauty and power of this special volcanic wonderland. Take photos without hundreds of people in the frame. 

Here's what you get...

One of the earliest daily shuttles to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Departing Discovery as early as 4:50am. Weather dependent. 

Afternoon shuttle transfer from Ketetahi finish back to Discovery.

Afternoon pickups every hour from 11:30pm to 3:30pm.

Simply finish and take the next shuttle back to Discovery.  

The most up-to-date weather forecast before you start.

Make your final decision to go or not at the start of the hike. This can be helpful if the weather is marginal. Full refund if you decide not to hike.


Free Bonus No. 1 

You'll also receive a FREE detailed topographical map of the track.

Valued at $10


Free Bonus No. 2

And you'll also get FREE car parking while hiking. 

Valued at $10


Your special price... while seats last !

So here's what you get:

Earliest Shuttle $70 + Map $15 + Day Parking $10

That comes to $95 per person return.

Book now and you'll pay a special price of:

$70 pp return trip

Hurry, don't miss out

Book now and be amongst the few who enjoy a better Tongariro Crossing experience. 

Take action now
You won't regret it
Book shuttle

This is an extremely limited offer ! 

Our shuttles have only 22 seats available.

The earliest bus is already almost fully booked on many days through this summer season.


100% fully refundable - for any reason ! 

If you're not happy with our service we will fully refund you. Simple.

You can also cancel or change your booking at anytime at no cost.

If we cancel due to bad weather we will refund you in full.

A Tongariro Crossing shuttle like no other


Of thrilled hikers

Most of our guests complain about the early start when they book. But 99.99% are thrilled they made the effort and started early.


Pick up times

We run 5 pick ups from Ketetahi at the end of the hike. Picks ups are every hour from 11:30 am through to 3:30 pm


Number of seats

We are not about mass tourism as you probably have worked out. Our buses have 22 seats. This means you don't feel litke cattle.

Tongariro Crossing sunrises

Dark silhouette of Mt Ngauruhoe with a bright red and orange sky at sunrise
A spectacular Ngauruhoe sunrise
Dark silhouette of Mt Ngauruhoe with wispy dark and bright clouds at sunrise
Where magic happens
Dark silhouette of Mt Ngauruhoe with stripes of bright red and orange sky at sunrise
Tongariro sunrise