New Zealand has two primary Alpine areas;
- The South Island Southern Alps / Fiordland National Park, above elevations of 950m. (Including many of the Great Walks)
- The North Island Central Plateau / Mt Taranaki, above elevations of 1400m (Including the very popular so named Tongariro Alpine Crossing)
The weather and conditions in these areas, can change rapidly from winter to summer at any time of the year.
The popular New Zealand Tongariro Crossing in the North Island has been renamed the Alpine Crossing in an attempt to raise the awareness of the difference from regular hiking tracks. Every year this track has some of the highest rescue rates in the country for ill prepared hikers.
New Zealand’s Great Walks located in the South Island’s Southern Alps, are closed to hikers during the Winter seaons as the winter conditions are treachous with heavy snow, freezing temperatures.