Hiking the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

We sat sipping a glass of the cheapest wine we could lay our hands on after one of the worst days on the road, the only bad day we’d had in 6 weeks of roaming in fact. Map open at Lake Taupo and Rotorua, the next obvious stops on our journey, we spotted another of the Lord of the Rings filming locations on the Tongariro Crossing, must be worth a little detour tomorrow.

The following day would be better, we told ourselves. Driving along minding our own business that day, a huge truck had swerved past us and kindly dumped a load of mud and stones right on our windscreen. Thanks very much mate. A small crack grew, then grew a bit more until it worked it’s way right across the glass. Nervous, we spent the day on the phone to the AA (thankfully they’d cover it) and then checking in with the repair places who assured us, “that’s nothing, I’ve seen worse. Don’t worry if the entire thing shatters and you can’t see for shit, it’ll be fine. You’ll have to wait until you get to Auckland to get it fixed.”

With that sorted we got an early start the next day for the trek. As usual we sensibly chose not to take enough provisions. Scavanging lunch on the sides of mountains has become a lucrative hobby on this trip for us – and it’s usually a whole load better than the budget stuff we buy. There’s a moral in there somewhere.

The hike was another beauty, up to a huge crater and incredibly blue lake (see pic below). We’d love to have walked from one side of the crossing to the other but that would have meant finding some way back to our poorly motor, which we learnt later would have cost a good $50. Either way, the views we got from the top looking down over the vast Lake Taupo were pretty special. As usual click the photos to enlarge them.

Tongariro Crossing

The track up to the hot spring was closed. We pondered it anyway but we're just too good.

Tongariro Crossing looking down on Lake Taupo

Looking down over Lake Taupo.

Tongariro Crossing crater

Tongariro Crossing crater - where LotR was filmed.

Ruth at the Blue Lake

Ruth at the Blue Lake

The Blue Lake - Tongariro Crossing

The Blue Lake.

Tongariro Crossing, Lake Taupo

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