Safety experts are advising anyone planning to walk the Tongariro Crossing that they must exercise "essential outdoor safety decision-making" after the death of a female tourist over the weekend.
Police and Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) found a body following a search for a missing 51-year-old Woman in Tongariro National Park.
The woman's body was recovered from Red Crater, Mt Tongariro on Sunday afternoon.
The woman was said to be part of a group of four that was set for a hike around the Tongariro Northern Circuit walk on Friday.
After taking a wrong turn, three of them decided to turn back while the woman carried on.
Mountain Safety Council (MSC) CEO Mike Daisley says the tragedy is a reminder that people need to be aware of their situation while exploring the great outdoors.
“This incident is a further reminder that while most tramping is a relatively safe activity, there comes a point when your decision-making and actions will be the difference between making it home safely or not,” he says.
Yesterday, before the woman's body was discovered, Tongariro guide Simon O'Neill told 1 NEWS this winter has seen a wave of walkers taking unnecessary risks.
Mr O'Neill is critical of "those people who don't understand the hazards, who turn up in some cheap runners from The Warehouse, jeans, t-shirts".
"Up here cotton kills," he told 1 NEWS on the mountain track.
Tania Konui of the Department of Conservation has similar concerns.
"It is really concerning if the visitors in front of us are not experienced or not prepared."
The Department of Conservation says snow, ice and sub-zero conditions are likely to stick around, and people looking to experience New Zealand's oldest national park must be well prepared.
"A lot of them arrive unaware of those risks. So by the time we finish talking to them about being prepared and those risks they're booking a guide or choosing an alternate hike," Ms Konui says.
In the last few years DOC has removed summit signage for both Ngāuruhoe and Tongariro. The department says this has helped reduce injuries and people needing to be rescued.
More than 148,000 people walk the Tongariro Crossing every year. But the shoulder season between spring and summer can be dangerous, especially as the numbers peak over the summer period.