Tourists eager to do Tongariro crossing after eruption
Thursday 29 Nov 2012 10:06 a.m.
By 3 News online staff
A week after Mt Tongariro spectacularly erupted, tourists and tourism operators are pleased the crossing that's named after it is reopening this morning.
Jared Thomas from Tongariro Expeditions takes tours on one of our most famous walks. He is really pleased that the crossing reopened with a ceremony at 9am this morning.
“We’re over the moon about it. The first groups of tourists and locals alike will be heading up to the mountain at that time.”
However it is only a partial opening. The track which is open goes up to the Red Crater summit, and from that point people can access the Emerald Lakes and other tracks.
Mr Thomas says it has been frustrating having the crossing closed for a week.
“But the flipside of that is now a great new feature on the mountain for the international travellers and the domestic people of New Zealand to come up and have a look at the new activity on the mountain.”
And since the eruption, Tongariro Expeditions has had a lot of interest.
“The phones have been ringing constantly and the emails have been coming through,” Mr Thomas says. “People want to see this kind of activity, they travel all over the world to go and see it, but it’s happening right here right now.”
But the tourists do have some safety concerns, and he says the crossing will be closed if there is any danger.
“GNS, the local volcanologist outfit here work in conjunction with DOC, and depending on the activity that they’re monitoring will open the track at stages to strategic points on the mountain.
“The safety for the people going up there is paramount.”
Watch the video for the full interview.