Published: January 24th 2012January 24th 2012
So it has been couple of days since we let you know what we are up to. We had the highlight of our adventure as we crossed the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is pretty the most amazing walk I have ever done.
Lukas wanted to do bungee jumping and skydive in Taupo as it is pretty cheap and very popular place to do it. However, Taupo is very touristic and money making place so we decided to leave it. I'd rather skydive above Mt Cook. We had a free bath in thermal Hot Springs on the river Waikato. There is a free campsite near Taupo which is brilliant and we met lots of backpackers there.
We visited Honey Hive http://www.hukahoneyhive.com/
where we were able to try all sorts of honey for free. You wouldn't believe how important the bees are - just amazing! We did 6 hour walk to Aratiatia Rapids via Huka Falls where 220 000 l of water runs through every second! It was too hot so we were pretty exhausted. We visited 2 Mile Bay and 5 Mile Bay.
We visited Craters of the Moon http://www.cratersofthemoon.co.nz/
Local Maori people fish for trout a lot and
children swim in the Waikato river. The river is crystal clear, blue and seethrough, it has however strong currents. We headed towards Tongariro via Turangi and stopped in Whakapapa Village for weather information. Whakapapa Village is very popular ski resort for the Mt Ruapehu.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing - http://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz/
This was something we planned before we arrived in NZ. One of the most amazing walks you can do on NZ and it was also listed by many in the top 10 day treks in the world. We set of at 7:30am and gave lift to a Polish girl who was travelling on her own - I envy her totally! It was very cold and it was supposed to be -6 degrees Celsius up in the mountains. The walk was fantastic and not as dificult as I anticipated. Tongariro is basicaly a walk round the Mt Tongariro (1967m) and Mt Ngauruhoe (2287m) with the view on Mt Ruapehu. You can do side walks right to the top of the craters but we didn't have enough time and willpower to do that. They are all still active volcanoes and the views are just amazing! Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake, Red Crater
belong to the amazing scenery of Tongariro Crossing. We did it in just 6 hours.
We had a good sleep after the crossing and did couple of walks around the area, including Tawhai Falls walk, Mounds Walk, National Park and drove through Forgotten World Highway (New Zealand's oldest touring route between Stratford and Taumarunui). We drove to visit Gerry and Renee in Stratford, friends of Lukas. They live near the Mt Taranaki which we will be climbing too. We will stay couple of days.
One thing we noticed is the different driving rule when you are turning right and the car in the other direction is going left. Normally we should give them way as they are nearer to the turn however in NZ the rules don't apply and they are giving us a way as we are on their right side...it is very dangerous and easy to end up in an accident!
There are more photos below