The Tussock Traverse offers both keen trail runners and walkers, as well as people new to the excitement of off-road adventures, one of the most scenic and varied courses in New Zealand. The event is proud to support the ongoing work of Project Tongariro (Tongariro Natural History Society), and the great work they do conserving this spectacular area. Project Tongariro is the charity partner of the Tussock Traverse.
The event course cuts across the heart of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park, starting off at the Desert Road on the Eastern side of the Park and takes in the Rangipo Desert and Waihohonu traverse track before finishing at the Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa to the West. In 2012 we introduced an additional two course distances which meant an increase in the total number of competitors allowed to take part in this spectacular alpine event! These event options are now here to stay!
The iconic 26km course remains unchanged, with a maximum number of 500 participants (last years event sold out!); the two shorter distances include a 13km run/walk and a shorter 6.5km run/walk, both with a maximum of 500 participants in each event option. The 26km run/walk course begins approximately 6kms up the Tukino Road in the Rangipo Desert (entrance off the Desert Road, SH1) with a long hard climb straight up initially. From there it's a mixture of rock hopping, lava fields, desert, alpine track (the views are amazing), and beech forest before finishing beside the Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa for a rest and BBQ.
The 13km and 6.5km options will both start and loop back to the event finish line at the Chateau Tongariro.
Run or walk options include - 26km course, 13km course, 6.5km course