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DOC ends overnight parking in Tongariro hub

Parking will still be unrestricted between the 50kph sign and Chateau Tongariro. Photo: Neil Rickards/Creative Commons

DOC is encouraging trampers to take shuttles to Tongariro National Park, as it cuts back on long-term parking in Whakapapa Village to free up spaces for day-visitors.

There will be no overnight parking in the village over winter, while overnight parking over summer has been reduced.

DOC senior community ranger Stacey Faire said a trial over summer found that parking time limits had freed up parks for day-trippers and people going to the visitor centre. Parking on SH48 in the town has been limited to between 60 and 90 minutes, but a parking lot was available for ‘day parking’ during winter and overnight parking in the summer. Parking on all side streets was restricted to guests staying at accommodation in the village.

She said overnight parking in the village had been restricted over winter to allow snow-clearing and emergency services access along SH48.

However, Faire said there was also room for about 100 cars to park overnight on the roadside before the village, between Chateau Tongariro and the speed restrictions signs.

It comes after DOC introduced a time limit to parking at the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in a bid to encourage walkers to take shuttles to the track and reduce congestion.