Those are big waves on a lake!
28/29 December 2010
My first day driving on the left. Super hard, especially in driving rain. It takes a lot of
concentration. We left Golden Springs and drove down to Taupo. It was raining and blowing so
we spent some time souvenir shopping. Taupo sits on the largest lake in NZ but the clouds
were so low we couldn't see much of it. There were 4 foot waves on it, though.
We drove down to Tongariro National Park and got checked in to our next Holiday Park. The
Discovery Lodge (yet another amazing lodging) was chosen for its proximity to the Crossing,
supposedly the best one-day hike in New Zealand. Hike stats: 12 miles, 3500 feet up and
5000 feet down.
The next morning we caught the 5:45 shuttle to the trailhead. The Tongariro
Crossing climbs up between two volcanoes: Mt Tongariro and Mt. Ngauruhoe (don't even try to
pronounce it). The latter was cast as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. The
hike provided jaw dropping views around every turn but you had to earn them. Anthony did the
extra credit problem by doing a side hike up to Mt. Tongariro. He said when
he got to the summit
there was a carpet of thousands of ladybugs!
After the hike I would concur that it is one of the best hikes I've ever done as far as scenery.
The trail was easily the best maintained that I've ever seen and it's over pretty rough
country. The park service down here has done a wonderful job.
There have been large gaps in blog continuity mostly because I've had no wi-fi the last four
days but partly because there is just so much to do here.
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