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 (formerly the Tongariro Natural History Society) and the great work they do conserving this spectacular area.
The 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 taking in the Rangipo Desert and Waihohonu traverse track before finishing at the Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa to the West. In 2012 we successfully 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 are back in 2013 and here to stay!
The iconic 26km course remains unchanged, with a maximum number of 500 participants (nearly sold out in 2012!); 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.
Event options include; 26km Run/Walk, 13km Run/Walk, 6.5km Run/Walk