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18th January
written by Hazel
On Saturday we did the Tongariro Crossing hike.  This hike is one of the most famous in New Zealand and supposedly the best day hike in the country.  It’s also 19.6 km long!  That’s 12.1788754 miles and it’s not called an alpine crossing for nothing.  It was a really cool experience and I’m so glad that my brother recommended it to us.  It took us 6 hours and we pretty much walked nonstop with just a few quick breaks.  The scenery was volcanic, colorful and spectacular.  But we had to contend with gale force winds (not kidding) and tons of other tourists.  They say that in peak season, on weekends 700 people a day do this trip.  And that probably isn’t an exaggeration.  You have to get a bus to one end of the trail and then have it pick you up at the other end – unless you’re absolutely crazy and want to walk both ways!  We loved it!!!

Volcanic Rock

Pretty desolate


It was windy up there

Red Crater

Emerald and Sapphire Lakes

 The woman in this picture isn’t just sitting down to rest.  This slope was very steep and very slippery, so everyone pretty much slid down.  She happened to fall just when I took the picture.

More Red Crater

 It was hard to take too many good shots because the weather was really questionable and I was mostly focused on hiking.  That night we found a DOC campsite (free!) at a river and got to have an awesome swim to wash all the dirt away.  Such an amazing day.

We were pretty sore the next day though, so no hiking at all.  We drove up a mountain instead – Mt. Taranaki. 

Mt Taranaki with cows


  1. Nigel Ball

    Impressive! I walked to the pub, but I forgot to take pictures.
    Feedback on Chile plans?

  2. Judie DeWitt

    what an amazing hike!! good that you waited till then end of your journey to be more fit to tackle it!! How did the volcano compare to the one we hiked in Hawaii??–both the day hike across the floor, and the night hike to find the flowing lava?
    love ya–thanks for the text

  3. 20/01/2011

    Wow! What was the elevation at the top? Volcanic landscape reminded me of the hike we did in Maui.
    Lots of love.

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