EDIT: Since this is a re-release of an old post, I can reveal that this volcano erupted two days after I climbed it. This teacher got a cool video of it.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered by many to be New Zealand’s best day hike and one of the best in the world. After completing it, it would be difficult to disagree. I’m planning to keep this blog relatively short of writing and try and show you how impressive the Tongariro crossing was through the use of pictures. However, I will provide a (very) short description of the walk.
You start in Mangatepopo Car park and walk for about 60 to 90 minutes on a reasonably easy valley track. You get great views of Mt Ngauruhoe (or Mount Doom, for you Lord of the Rings fans) while doing this. You then climb steeply for about an hour (I believe they call it the devil’s staircase?) – this is probably the hardest bit. You ascend and descend into and out of some volcanic craters and eventually you reach the Red Crater Summit (the highest point of the walk). You descend past the Emerald Lakes (since there was so much snow I decided to run and slide for a few hundred metres – probably not the safest, but easily the quickest) before climbing again up to Blue Lake. It’s then a descent to Ketetahi Hut and 19.4km’s after you started you arrive at the car park. In case I haven’t been clear enough, here… have a map.
Oh yeah, these are active volcanoes. I took HUNDREDS of photos on the walk. Overall, it probably wasn’t as difficult as I had anticipated but it was far more beautiful and worthwhile than I ever would have imagined I guess it’s win-win.
Note: All my photos show the mountains covered in the snow that had fallen two days prior to my climb (believe me, this didn’t help). If you want to see what it looks like otherwise, google it.
Note 2: I did my climb on Monday 19th. Mt. Tongariro erupted again on Wednesday 21st.
I hope you enjoy my photos.
Incredible. I’d do it again in a flash.