One of New Zealand’s most luxurious lodges is celebrating the re-opening of one of the world’s most renowned walking tracks.
River Birches Lodge, located in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island beside the Tongariro River in Turangi, has welcomed the news that the famed ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’ is re-opening this weekend.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track was closed in early August as a precautionary measure following a small volcanic eruption – the first in more than 100 years.
After diligently monitoring activity for the past few weeks, the Department of Conservation has given trampers the ‘green light’ to access the track again.
River Birches Lodge manager Anthea Tidswell said the announcement was perfectly timed for the launch of a new spring package for visitors to come and experience the region’s finest accommodation, cuisine and most picturesque treks.
“I can’t think of a better way to start spring than with the news that our famous walking track is re-opening,” she said.
“We welcome guests from all over the world, and while reasons for visiting our region vary, a lot of travelers come to enjoy the spectacular views of the Tongariro Crossing.”
“The eruption certainly caused some excitement as it’s the first time people of our generation have seen the mountain active. But now we know that it’s perfectly safe for people to access the track again.”
River Birches Lodge has teamed up with local guiding company ‘Walking Places’ to incorporate a ‘Walk to the Red Crater’ tour in the new accommodation package.
Walking Places manager Terry Blumhardt said he was “really looking forward” to showing River Birches’ guests some of the most spectacular scenery New Zealand has to offer.
“Visitors on the tour will enjoy the most spectacular features of the world famous trek, climbing to the Red Crater and the Volcanic Lakes and returning on the same track,” he said.
“It enables people to fully absorb the views of the glacial valleys and lava flows, without enduring the lengthy downhill of the full Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
“There’s absolutely no pressure to hurry to the top, so this trip suits people who are unsure of their fitness, but still want to take in this spectacular volcanic wonderland.”
The total distance of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4km return trip. The section re-opening on Saturday (September 1) is a 15km return trip and encompasses the most scenic part of the crossing.
River Birches Tongariro Alpine Crossing Package enables guests to experience all the wonderful offerings that spring brings to the region. Not only can guests enjoy the ‘Walk to the Red Crater’ tour, but it’s an ideal time to get some fly fishing in or enjoy spring skiing at Whakapapa.
Enjoy two nights luxury accommodation for two people at River Birches Lodge in the Duchess Room, a bottle of Huia Marlborough Sparkling Wine on arrival, full country breakfast each morning, pre-dinner cocktails and canapés each evening, guided ‘Walk to the Red Crater’ tour for two with Walking Places, a relaxing massage in the privacy of your own room plus use of all lodge facilities.
Cost: $1100 for two inc GST (a saving of $400)
Available from September 1 to October 31 2012, subject to availability.