So this past weekend we had originally planned on kayaking down the Wanganui River, and to do that in two days apparently we were going to have to put in 2 quite long days of kayaking. The we looked ahead and discovered that the weekend of March 6th was a long weekend at the clinic, as it was closed on Monday the 8th cause it's Taranaki anniversary. Nice, huh? The point of all that is that we then switched out kayaking to this weekend, so last weekend we decided to hike the Tongariro crossing. It's touted as the best one day hike in New Zealand. Yay!
Josh ready and raring to go Saturday morning as we wait for our transport to the trail. It's a one way trail, so you need to pay for someone to bring you there and pick you up...
When we started, there was a great big cloud (remember, New Zealand is the land of the long white cloud!) that was hanging around. The picture doesn't do it justice, but there are lovely sun rays coming down in the middle of that picture.
Pretty little waterfall on the trail.
The trail is just a portion of one of the New Zealand's Great Walks, but since we didn't have time to do the whole 4-5 days, this is what we ended up with! The Tongariro National Park was initially gifted to the govt as a reserve by the maori Chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV (that name's a mouthful) on behalf of this tribe, the Tuwharetoa back in 1887. The park has grown to cover almost 80,000 hecteacres. (I have no idea how many acres that is!)
Here's a great view of Ngauruhoe from the valley.
The track run the Mangatepopo Valley (where we are here) to the saddle between Tongariro and Naguruhoe Mountains. Then we climb up up up to the South Crater, then a bit more to the Red Crater.
Here's a view going from South Crater to Red Crater. I like the crazy rock formations.
Since the trail is often described as the best day hike, there are TONS of people. Hordes. Herds, even. It's rather ridiculous!
Then we climbed up up up the Red Crater (which, amazingly enough, is red), to be treated to a view of the Emerald lakes (and, it must be said, to the smell of them as well...the reason they are those pretty colors is because of all the minerals, sulfur being one!)
View of the Red Crater, and the darker bit onthe right bottom is the lava lake. Mmm. Lava.
Hi, happy Josh!
I might have stopped several times to get a picture of these cute little flowers. Aren't they lovely?
We stopped at one of the huts to make some lunch. Josh is good at cooking trail lunches!
View from the hut, Lake Rotoaira in the foreground and Lake Taupo in the background.
We got done with the track in about 6 hours, which I thought was pretty good for stopping for lunch and pictures and 19.7 km of funness!
We got back to our hotel and pretty much just hung out. Took our shoes off and put our sore feet up!
The next day we found a random church to go to, as our timing for services was horrible, and then headed up to another 2-3 hour hike (roundtrip!) to Waitonga falls. Here's Josh on the way...
More pretty falls. I love the self timer.
And this is the giant carrot. Yes, the giant carrot. This is in Ohakune,which is hopping in the winter with skiiers/snowboarders. The carrot serves as a reminder of the farming roots of the town. Nice, huh? :)