Tongariro Times January 2013

Tongariro Times January 2013

Tussock Traverse - 26th January 2012 - Volunteers Still Needed

Our signature event and a fantastic day out!

Project Tongariro marshalls the entire event, and looks after the entrants when they finish with a great BBQ. It’s all good fun and Project Tongariro is the sole benefactor. This is our major fundraiser for the year: we raise in the region of $5000. Please let us know if you can help out on the day by contacting the office


We also need some help on Tuesday 22 January with tussock preparation (tagging tussocks for participants at registration).  Email Kiri if you can help out for a couple of hours - 

The course cuts across the heart of World Heritage Tongariro National Park, starting off at the Desert Road on the eastern side of TNP and taking in the Rangipo Desert and Waihohonu Traverse track before finishing at Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa Village to the west. In 2012 we successfully introduced an additional two course distances which meant an increase in the total number of competitors allowed to take part in this spectacular alpine event.  These are back in 2013 and here to stay.

The iconic 26km course remains unchanged, with a maximum number of 500 participants (nearly sold out in 2012!); the two shorter distances include a 13km run/walk and a shorter 6.5km run/walk, each with a maximum of 500 participants. 

The 26km run/walk course begins approximately 6km up the Tukino Rd (entrance off the Desert Road, SH1) with a long hard climb straight up initially.  From there it's a mixture of rock hopping, lava fields, desert, alpine track (the views are amazing), and beech forest before finishing beside Chateau Tongariro for a rest and BBQ.

The 13km and 6.5km options will start and loop back to the event finish line at Chateau Tongariro.

If you are keen to enter, go to 

Already a member of Project Tongariro? We have good news …

there are no more subscriptions to pay!

At the October 2012 AGM, there was unanimous support to change our Rules of Incorporation to remove the need for annual subs. From now on, new members will be asked to pay a one-off entrance fee of $50 to join Project Tongariro.  And thereafter, there will be no charge.

The change was made because the executive felt it was costing the organisation too much time and energy to invoice, and then chase subs every year.  With so many organisations and clubs around we also realised we were losing good people simply because their membership had lapsed.

Project Tongariro wishes to grow its circle of members and supporters, not see it diminish. Our new rules now make this possible. From here on, there is no need to remove people from the mailing list due to non-payment as there are no subs to pay.

In the spirit of this change, if you know of any previous members who would like to come back onto our books this is now possible at no extra charge. Please ask them to contact our coordinator Kiri Te Wano – and she will check the old records, update their details and reinstate them immediately.

Alternatively, as communication with members these days is via email and our electronic newsletter, people can simply unsubscribe or contact our office and ask to be removed from the database if they so wish.

Please note we also have a free supporters category. Our supporters are on a separate database and receive emails and our electronic newsletter. However, they do not enjoy membership priority on our field trips, voting rights at the AGM and the warm fuzzy feeling you get from belonging to such a great organisation.

In lieu of subs, of course, anyone who wants to make a tangible contribution to Project Tongariro can still help out in a variety of ways, for example as a volunteer, through a donation for plants or traps, by adopting a hectare at Lake Rotopounamu or perhaps by setting up a future bequest.

You ongoing support of Project Tongariro is greatly appreciated.

Karen Williams

Kite Day - A great day out in TNP for everyone!

Kiri Te Wano



A few hundred people joined in on the fun and although the wind was a bit fickle and didn’t really become steady until mid-afternoon, everyone had a fantastic day out. Ray McCully and NZ Kite Flyers Assoc were there in force. The fave for me was the big red octopus and the multi-coloured sting-ray, along with other various sea creatures!

The little hand-made Project Tongariro kites lived up to their promise, and they were the best kites to fly in whatever wind (running speed was sufficient too).

We were well supported with about 25kg of sausages cooked and about 60 kids kites being made and flown.

Thanks to  Chateau Tongariro for the amazing backdrop and for sponsorship of 15kg of sausages, bread, onions and sauce.  Thanks also to Turangi New World who chipped in 5kg of sausages.


Upcoming Member Field Trips - Boundary Stream Mainland Island and Bridge to Nowhere Expedition

Some fantastic member field trips are planned for February and March. Get involved!

22 - 24 February 2013 - Boundary Stream Mainland Island
Mary Mozingo is leading a trip to the Pan Pac Kiwi Creche, Boundary Stream Mainland Island Restoration Project and Poutiri Ao A Tane Restoration Project staying at the Guthrie Smith Outdoor Education Centre near Lake Tutira, Hawke’s Bay.  There are some similar projects to Project Tongariro underway in the Hawke's Bay for us to explore and discover. For more info email Mary on

15 - 17 March 2013 - Bridge to Nowhere
Mark Davies in conjunction with Bike Taupo is leading an expedition to the Bridge to Nowhere including mountain biking or kayaking.  Stay at Blue Duck Station. This trip is an adventure and fun! Learn a bit of history along the way!   For more info email Mark on

 Spaces on these trips are filling up fast so book your spot asap!

30th Anniversary Memorial Walk  - Sunday 9th December 2012
Karen Williams

On Sunday 9 December, family, friends and Project Tongariro members gathered to mark 30 years since the helicopter tragedy in which the pilot Doug McKenzie and Tongariro National Park staff members Bill Cooper, Keith Blumhardt, Derek White and Marie Williams died.

In perfect weather, more than 40 people walked from the Turoa mountain road out to the crash site for an informal ceremony and photographs.

Although the day was tinged with sadness, it was a chance to remember those who died, to enjoy being together and to celebrate Project Tongariro, the Tongariro Natural History Society that was established as a living memorial to the five in 1984.

More than 20 Williams and White family members stayed at Serac Ski Lodge for the weekend. They made a joint commitment to adopt 30 hectares for five years at Rotopounamu in memory of Marie and Derek.

Harry Keys also led a trip out to South-East basin to view the new Nga Wai Heke ski lift and the interesting Column Rocks. All and all, it was a very special day.



The Goat - Good job to all athletes and volunteers!

Looks like our volunteers enjoyed their time out around the mountains while they marshalled for The Goat!  Fluoro orange suits everyone!


Check out these amazing pics from Fa'i on one of his recent volunteer kiwi transport runs.

Upcoming activities and events - your chance to get involved!

Tussock PreparationTues 22 Jan 2013Tussock TraverseSat 26 Jan 2013PT Nursery WorkTues 5 Feb 2013Field Trip - Sun 31 March 2013PT Nursery WorkTues 2 April 2013Sunset Red Crater TripSat 13 April 2013T42Sat 4 May 2013Te Matapuna Wetland Planting DayMon 3 June 2013


Check out the Tongariro Journals Library - now online 1999 to 2011 Journals. 

Download the Pocket Ranger - the smartpone app that is your guide to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook

Project Tongariro
PO Box 238 



p: +64 7 386 6499

Posted: Mon 21 Jan 2013

Roel Michels