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


As we set off we were mentally prepared for an overcast rain filled day. However, as we slowly winded our way south the skies cleared and the rain ceased. The higher we went the stronger and colder became the wind. We followed the undulating highway 30 through scenic cattle filled lush countryside. From just before Atiamuri we drove high above the mighty Waikato River stopping where we were able to take a few photos and to walk some of the trails, one which included numerous stairs beside the highway which we climbed to be rewarded by sensational views. Through the Hydro village of Whakamaru and onto highway 32 keeping Lake Taupo to the east of us. Highways 47 and 48 took us into the Tongariro National Park, a place at high altitude, barren landscape and cold. ... read more

First the cyclone, (still waiting for the water to go down)….and now an earthquake…what a country! Hoorah the cyclone has passed….with lots of high winds and power cuts and closed roads but we were safely snuggled in our dodgy motel without power feeling very sorry for those people who were having to deal with landslides and damaged structures. We ventured out to find lots of trees down but we met a man who had driven across from Raetihi which is where we were heading and he confirmed that the road was open so off we went. So many trees down ….whole forests where the trees had been sliced off by the wind about 3 metres off the ground. The main Highway 4 is closed by a landslip just south of where we are staying so we ... read more
Honouring the Engineer.....
Jan and her trusty and wizzy steed
The first New Zealand meat pie...perfect for picnics!

Dnešnímu brzkému vstávání předcházely nálety obřích brouků, kteří nám v noci naráželi do oken pokoje. Ráno potom všude po kempu ležely desítky možná stovky mrtvolek této oblíbené pochoutky Maorů. Docela v jídle experimentuju, ale tohle bych chroupat nechtěla. V 6:30 místního času se část naší skupiny rozhodla zdolat sopečné pohoří s názvem Tongariro. Už předem nás na to naše průvodkyně Petra připravovala. Museli jsme mít celodenní zásoby vody, protože po cestě nebude možnost ji doplnit, vybavili jsme se také opalovacími krémy s vysokým faktorem (nejméně 50) a jelikož zde není vůbec žádný signál, museli jsme celou trasu cca 20 km zdolat za 8 hodin, abychom byli ve smluvený čas na smluveném místě, tak aby nás Petra mohla vyzvednout a dovézt zpět do kempu. Nejvyšším místem, kam jsme se měli dostat byl tzv. Red Crater, měřící něco ... read more
V národním parku Tongariro
Red Crater
Smaragdová jezírka

27th August - 31st August 2019 After a surprising comfortable first five days at Taupo we were ready to pack up the van and move on to our next destination at Whakapapa. This was the North facing ski field on the Ruepehu volcano. It is a pretty epic site with several volcanos around - Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from Lord of the rings) and Mt Tongariro. These make up the stunning Tongariro national park. We had the added treat of being joined by our old colleague Tommy who was popping down from Auckland to join us on the slopes. And the jammy buggar brought the beautiful sunshine and perfect skiing conditions with him. In the evening over a few craft beers we also got to teach him our new favourtite card game (Thanks to Vicky and ... read more

North Island, reputedly less scenic than South Island, is hilly rather than mountainous, but just as wooded. It’s hard to know how much of the forest is indigenous, as a lot of trees have been introduced by settlers, but Trevor is a mine of information on a lot of them. The problem with introduced species of anything is that it will often smother what was there before. The conservation societies are trying to get rid of ‘wildings’ - so that areas can be returned to their original makeup. New Zealand's original wildlife consisted of mainly birds, most of them flightless; its only mammals were a couple of bats. The Maoris hunted the several species of moa (a large flightless bird) to extinction, hard to envisage when you see the size of some of these were over ... read more

Next stop was Taupo, which is a cute little town next to the enormous lake Taupo. It also happens to be near the Tongariro National Park, so when the next day promised some good weather, there was no way I wouldn't do that! I woke up at 4:15 (!), met some people at my hostel that were also doing the crossing and at 7:00 we started walking (after a 1,5 hour bus ride). It was amazing. The walk started off relatively flat, in a landscape that was nothing like I had ever seen. The clouds added to the atmosphere, making it seem mystical and magical. After a while we climbed above the clouds, and what a view… and then I haven't even mentioned the green and bright blue lakes yet. It was a tough climb and ... read more
Taupo sign just begged to be climbed
19,4 km, let's go!
Climbed above the clouds!

New Zealand wasn’t on my radar as a place I would visit in the near future because I had already been there as a teenager, and, because I didn’t know anyone I could stay with there, an extended sojourn there wouldn’t fit my budget as a funemployed person. However, when I extended my Midlife Crisis Flashpacking Trip, the only mileage award flight home I could find was from Auckland. So, I decided to make a short trip to NZ to check one more item off my list - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It also helped that Air New Zealand offered attractive fares on their B787 Dreamliner flight from Adelaide to Auckland. It was also a neat bit of serendipity that I end my travels in the country where my wanderlust was first stoked; I’ll explain that ... read more
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Wir übernachten am Campingplatz und lassen uns vom Transferbus um 06:40 abholen, der uns nach getaner Leistung wieder gut zurück bringen wird. Aber jetzt mal schön langsam… Als wir aufwachen kommt mir das Wetter noch etwas entrisch vor, doch das liegt einfach nur an der Dämmerstimmung aufgrund der Uhrzeit ? Leider wollte sich die Katze nicht mehr zeigen, weshalb Stefan den Schinken geschickt drapiert und diesen Dienst einfach fürs gute Karma tätigt. Wir schaffen es pünktlich zum Transferbus, der zu spät ist und dann scheint die Sonne!! Und Mount Doom (der Schicksalsberg) zeigt sich in seiner voller Pracht – wir sind gut ausgerüstet: Gore-Tex-Jacken , Fleece , Handschuhe und Haube , Wanderstöcke sehr nützlich auf dem Lavasand – einzig gefährlicher Teil der Wanderung und zu unser Überraschung ohne Sicherung, da der Rest des Weges sehr sehr ... read more
Tongariro Crossing - Skigebiet
Tongariro Crossing -  lasr chance
Mount Doom

In Maori mythology, there once stood four great mountains in the area now protected within Tongariro National Park – Tongariro, Taranaki, Tauhara and Putauaki – all of whom were male. When a beautiful female mountain named Pihanga arrived nearby, all four of them fell in love with her. But since only one of them could have her – and with boys being boys after all – they fought over her. When the great battle of the mountains was over, it was the volcano Tongariro who stood victorious, having blown himself apart in order to prove his love to Pihanga. The other three mountains were given until sunrise the following morning to get as far away as they could, before they would be turned to stone forever. Taranaki fled westwards at a great rate, and by the ... read more
Between the Volcanoes
Mount Doom
Martian Landscape

Tongario Alpine Crossing (TAC) = Version accélérée et raccourcie d'un des 10 plus beaux treks du monde ! 3 semaines, que j'attends une fenêtre météo favorable pour y aller. Echec lors de mon séjour à Taupo, idem lors de mon stand by pré-emploi... Avant hier LE jour arrivait sur la forecast ! J'ai bloqué ma journée (de toute façon j'avais pas de rdv) appelé Aldric (un pote et colloc de Susan) et on est parti après mon boulot, mardi à 21h. Arrivés à 1h à Tongario National Park, on dort dans le van, puis levé 6h30 pour les dernières 30 minutes de voiture. Départ 7h50, il y a déjà un monde fou, et une queue aux toilettes... la journée sera longue ! Le programme (sur les conseils du Gaminou et de plusieurs blogs) aller très vite ... read more
Première vue du Mordor
Mystic en Noir et Blanc
Le vent se lève fin de la première difficulté de la journée, descente sur le lac

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