Tongariro Crossing and Auckland

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May 21st 2010
Published: May 21st 2010
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Hello all!!

Sorry about the lack of video, I can't get it to upload!

Since i last wrote I did a long hike in the Tongariro National park called the Tongariro Crossing. It is a full day hike across a volcano - very exciting! Firstly I have to say I have been so lucky with the weather in New Zealand and the Tongariro Crossing completes my trip. The walk began quite rocky and flat and cold, but I soon warmed up on the Devil's staircase which takes you to the bottom of Mount Ngauruhoe (or Mount Doom if you have seen Lord of the Rings). I now know why it is called the Devil's staircase, as it was a real mission to get up - 45 minutes of climbing stairs!! However, well worth it when you are looking up at Mount Doom, which is huge and towers proudly above everything - we of course pretended to be characters from Lord of the Rings. The walk then took us through the south crater which was fairly flat, but a huge crater! South crater brought us to the base of Red Crater ridge which was another big climb (not as bad as the stairs), very cool at the top. The Red Crater as its name suggests is very red, the walk up was a bit hairy as there were big drops either side, but the top was the summit of the walk. Awesome views of Mount Doom, clouds began to surround it making it look very eerie. Geothermal energy was coming up from Red Crater so when we sat down to have our well deserved lunch we got nice warm bums. Although the sulphur did STINK! The walk down from the summit was loose scree, so quite good fun as every step you took was actually about 3 and I only fell over once so that was good! The scree brought us down to the Emerald lakes which were a really strong green/blue colour and on to Blue lake, mesmerising to look at. The walk was practically downhill from here made even better by the amazing views of the landscape, rocks and volcanoes, then down into lush forest. Well worth doing!

The next couple of days I spent with Ivy and Edwin (Mum's side of family) in Auckland, it was lovely to be in a home and I actually had a room to myself which was a novelty. Ivy and Edwin were lovely, lots of food! They took me around Auckland, east to where their daughter lives in Farnell, which had nice views of the city and a nice park. We drove downtown over the harbour bridge and saw all the boats Aucland harbours. We then went west through Titirangi - where Ivy and Edwin live, this is a very lush area, in their garden they have many fruit trees and Pahutukawas which is a native tree. They took me to see the rainforest which supplies 30% of Auckland's water and pahi a black sand surfing beach - who knew Auckland had all this!!

Well I have thoroughly enjoyed New Zealand and am quite sad to be leaving, but Australia awaits me . . .


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