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Tongariro Crossing to partly re-open

Tourists walking the Tongariro Crossing. Photo / File
Tourists walking the Tongariro Crossing. Photo / File

Part of the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing is set to reopen on Thursday, giving trampers the opportunity to get close to an active volcano.

The track has been closed since last Wednesday's eruption from Mt Tongariro's Te Maari crater and a 3km hazard zone has remained in place since.

It was announced today that part of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Tongariro Northern Circuit would reopen on Thursday.

People undertaking the crossing will still be able to visit the Emerald Lakes - a highlight of the trip - which, the Tourism Industry Association said, were even more spectacular than usual as a result of the recent volcanic activity.

"This summer will be a great time to visit, while you can still see evidence of the recent volcanic activity in an active natural landscape,'' said Tongariro Alpine Crossing transport and guide concessionaires group chairman Stewart Barclay.

"There are few other places in the world where people can safely get this close to an active volcano.''

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson assured visitors they wouldn't be at risk from the volcano if they stayed on the designated tracks.

"The tracks planned for reopening can be used safely and give visitors spectacular scenes of the national park,'' she said.

- APNZ

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