Blogs from Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Hello everyone. 28 June 2013 – 28 June 2014 Today it’s exactly one year since I left Curaçao for this adventure of travelling and working around the world. So far everything went well and I don’t regret the decision I made. Today, one year and about 20 countries later, I’m looking forward to continue with the journey in a couple of months. I'm not home-sick but I miss Curaçao, my family and childhood friends. I can’t wait to be back home and see everyone again but at the same time I want to stay away a little bit longer to see and experience more of the world. Because once I go back home, I wouldn’t easily make such a trip again. Curaçao is on my mind every single day because I listen to the music, read ... read more
near the Taranaki Falls and Mt. Ruapehu in background, Tongariro National Park
Mount Ngharuhoe
At work with my colleague Thomas

Mein Weg von Christchurch nach Picton ist hauptsächlich nur in einem Auto gewesen. Ein Koreaner, der auch in den Norden reisen will, nimmt mich mit. Sein Englisch ist eher begrenzt, also sind unsere Konversationen intellektuell auch weniger anspruchsvoll - natürlich auch mal okay, hehe - und es stellt sich heraus, dass sein Hauptreiseziel wohl das Fischen ist. Immer wenn ich frage, wo er bisher gewesen sei, wo er als nächstes hin wolle, nennte er dann einen Namen und ich frage warum und er antwortet: "Fishing!" Mit einem Grinsen und diesem total enthusiastischen asiatischen Unterton in der Stimme. Ich finds witzig. Die Mittagspause in Kaikoura mit Fish&Chips hat ihm natürlich sehr gefallen. In Picton angekommen denke ich mir, das kostenlose Internet im Fährhaus zu nutzen um Hostels in Wellington anzurufen, aber es stellt sich heraus, dass alle ... read more
Shearing Gang
Geoffs Steinofen
Ahhh, und der Pool!

Sunday 16th Few more days and its the end of tour for me. But first had to get passed this crossing. The Tongariro Crossing is in Tongariro National Park, which was the first national park in NZ and the fourth in the world with three volcanoes, of which we could see the steam coming out of vents as we drove closer. The three volcanoes all active still and are called Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. Ruapehu is the oldest volcano where as Ngauruhoe is the youngest. Both Ruapehu and Tongariro have vents of steam in the sides of the volcanoes but Ngauruhoe is a conical volcano. Ngauruhoe is also famous because it was used as the volcano known as Mount Doom, Mordor in Lord of the Rings. The crossing itself doesn't take us over ... read more

Today I faced the mighty Tongariro Alpine Crossing! It's a day hike, about 20 km (13 miles) long, traveling up to the base of some active volcanoes and then over and down. It's ranked as one of the most picturesque day hikes in the world, and, importantly, mount Tongariro is what they used for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings. The crossing does not begin or end in the same place, you hike from one carpark (parking lot) to another, so you have to arrange some sort of transportation to drop you off and pick you up. I'd arranged transport with the Alpine Hot Bus via email before leaving the states, and it was due to pick me up from Mike and Kicki's (see the next entry for all about Kicki and Mike!) at ... read more

Leaving Rotorua behind, I headed towards the centre of the North Island and Taupo. On the the way there were a couple more stops... another thermal area and a waterfall. Craters Of The Moon, which unlike the ones in Rotorua, have almost no smell and no sulphur crystals forming at any of the vents. Because of this, the name is kind of deceptive as there is vegetation growing all around the area. Certainly made for a much more pleasant visit though. This area is still highly active with eruptions happening all the time. The last major one was in 2002 which makes me think that it is long overdue and maybe not such a good idea to stick around for too long. Now when I mentioned a waterfall, what I meant to say was The Mother ... read more
Huka Falls 5
Huka Falls 14
Tongariro NP 2


Wake up to very low cloud but dry…hoorah! About 15 of us from the hostel pile on the shuttle at 7.15am and by 8am are walking into the mist and haze that is this famous landscape. Everyone has a different pace so we naturally all split down with Alex, Graham, Will and I all walking together. The beginning of the walk, to the soda springs was quite an errie feel, thanks to the fact you couldn’t see anything around except the outline of big mountains either side of you. After soda springs we reached an area known as the ‘devils staircase’, and an hour later when we reached the top we knew why, wooden steps in the mountain alternated with steep paths, sure took it out of us. At the top of the ‘devils staircase’ I ... read more

Mike very kindly dropped me at the bus station, and I was on the bus zooming out of Wellington at 9am. We had a few stops at little towns along the way – nothing to note apart from incredibly quiet and small – nothing to them! The lunch stop was a little bigger, but again, eerily quiet, and the only shops included every type of fast food place (MacDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Burger King), lots of second hand furniture/antique style shops…but not high end antiques, and cafes selling Fish and Chips. At Turangi I changed bus with most other people, on to a shuttle to the National Park Village, where we arrived at 4pm, in torrential rain. I have had my heart set on doing a walk known as the Northern Circuit, here in the Tongariro National ... read more

Last night the hostel partied hard... We however did not as we had to begin our journey to the national park at 5.30am. I barely slept a wink but I think that may have been a mixture of the loud music and the adrenaline from the sky dive. We started the track at 7.00am and had a 10 hour walk ahead of us. Due to the volcanic eruption in August 2012 part of the original crossing is closed, therefore we opted for the 'highlights' walk which includes the famous Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings. I can safely say that this was the hardest mountain I've ever climbed, but the views from the top were phenomenal. I particularly liked the emerald lakes, that looked beautiful amidst the brown volcanic soil. Infact if you picked ... read more

Jan attemped to conquer the Tongariro Crossing. Been there, done that. Small detail, he forgot the ring. He will have to come back another time...... read more
Red Crater
Red Crater

Even though I had been waking up around 6 every morning, going up at 5 was really hard. But I manage to get up, pack all my food and lots of water and went out to meet up Mia. She picked me up and we got down to Taupo, met up with her friend Luke and hop on the shuttle that would drive us the 1.5h to the begin of the Tongariro Alpine Cross. Normally you go across the mountain and get picked up on the other side, but as I mention in the previous post the Northern part of the crossing are closed since they fear more eruptions. Tongariro is one of many active volcanoes in New Zealand and this one erupted twice last fall so I was told that if it erupted while we ... read more

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