New Zealand has two Primary Alpine Areas;
- The South Island Southern Alps and Fiordland National Park, above elevations of 950m.
- The North Island Central Plateau / Mt Taranaki, above elevations of 1400m.
Weather in these areas can change rapidly, from pleasant Summer to severe Winter, in as little as 30 minutes.
The Popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the North Island Central Plateau, is also located close to a major New Zealand Highway, which makes it very accessible to many thousands of ill-equipped walkers every year. As a result this track also accounts for most of the public park land rescues in New Zealand every year.