I thinking of doing Tongariro and the Ruapehu Round the Mountain track again, what are the options for parking these days?
I can't seem to find any recent info, but from what I recall hearing parking is very much restricted around Whakapapa, and they encouraging taking the bus/shuttles, which is fine if doing the day great walk, but a big hassle for longer where timings won't be exact.
I guess there's other options for longer term parking, but how secure?
good question, i cant find anything specific on DOC's site other than there is parking available at whakapapa village and National Park village
theres a lot of the free long term parking is down at National park by the railway station.
I"d read there were some restrictions going in around whakapapa but can't find the details.
, or theres the skifield parking but i saw something about barrier arms going in for at least some of the parking there, not sure exactly what the story was there.
there is this carpark too mentioned in the link
As you can read on the previous topic on this: https://tramper.nz/forums/thread/9481?offset=11
Overnight parking at Whakapapa is now completely forbidden, this has been confirmed to me by DOC, and there is no other option short of parking at Tukino Rd or Ohakune Rd, which are quite isolated too.
DOC is having a frenzy of banning overnight parking without understanding that it is in fact the same as closing overnight tracks. I had the same problem in Punakaiki to do the Inland Pack Track last month, all carparks had large red signs forbidding overnight parking. I had to get an official statement from the local DOC office saying that I could still in fact park there for the Inland Pack Track. But it took me a couple hours and all the local DOC staff couldn't understand why those signs were put up in the first place… Silly really.
punakaiki is to block freedom campers. Whakapapa might also be for that but could be undue pressure from transport concession holders claiming a problem exists.
However at the village you could talk nicely to the campground and park overnight. They might charge you a site fee though and if very unlucky force you to put up a spare tent. Up at the ski field carpark 2 is not visible from the road so you could take a chance
Tukino can become a little river like in patches, plus it can become a little rutted. Have a Honda CRV which is quite comfortable on it, albeit I once had to ride the rut ridges to ensure I was fully clear. It has never been the smoothest of roads.