Central North Island police and LandSAR have rescued six people who underestimated the challenges of walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the last week.

An alarm was raised on Thursday night last week when a 43-year-old Wellington woman and her daughter, 14, failed to make it to the end of the track.

They started the hike at 10am and were reported overdue when they had not arrived at the end by 9.30pm.

Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said police were alerted by worried parents and friends.


Fortunately, a trio of women on the track had come across the pair and chaperoned them to the finish at 11.30pm, he said.

The following Sunday, a 74-year-old Finnish woman was hiking alone on the track and called for help when she was so exhausted she could not walk any further.

Her shuttle bus driver walked up the track and found her 2.5km from the end. Police were notified and a four-person LandSAR team from Turangi was deployed with a stretcher.

The team located the bus driver and the woman. She was carried out on a stretcher and met by St John paramedics.

Shepherd said the woman was checked over and was able to leave with her husband without medical treatment.

On Wednesday, two men were rescued from the summit of Red Crater, the midpoint on the Alpine Crossing.

Two 18-year-olds, one from Auckland and the other from South Africa, were in a group of four doing the Tongariro Northern Circuit when they were overcome by exhaustion and cold.

Shepherd said thick, low cloud meant the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter from Taupo was unable to fly in, and a four-person LandSAR team from Turangi was mobilised.


The team was flown as far as possible up the Oturere Valley and continued on foot to find the men huddled in cloud at 1868m above sea level, at the summit.

They received first aid and were helped down to the Oturere Valley.

The cloud prevented a helicopter evacuation, so the rescuers walked out to the Desert Rd then drove home, while the trampers spent the night at Oturere Hut.

"Tongariro is an alpine environment, so it is suggested people have a good level of physical fitness and endurance if they are planning on hiking the Crossing.

"It can take at least eight hours, has steep climbs and frequently changing weather conditions. Wear hiking boots, take plenty of food and clothing, bring a hat for hot and cold weather and a torch is essential.

"Make sure you are finished before sunset, as it's not fun hiking a mountain in the dark if you've not planned for it."

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing attracts people from all over the world.