For New Years Eve we decided to take a road trip up to Tongariro National Park. We have wanted to the the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for a while now and we thought this was the perfect time.
It is hailed as one of New Zealands great one day walks (19.4km). In winter you require a guide but this was summer, so we were independent.
We stayed at the YHA Hostel ($62p/n private double room) which also provided a shuttle service ($35pp) for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
We begun the walk at Mangatepopo car park (suggested route) and finished 8hours later at Ketetahi car park. We were walking for a total of 5.5hours (this did not include Mt Ngauruhoe or Mt Tongariro summit due to bad visibility). We had a long rest at the Ketetahi hut because we didn’t want to finish the track too early and have to wait in the Ketetahi car park for the shuttle pick up time. It was much nicer to enjoy the Ketetahi hut view and I even had a nap!
That evening we enjoyed a well deserved dinner at Schnapps bar. My nachos were HUGE ($13.50) and Francis enjoyed ribs ($22). We celebrated the New Year with people we had met at our Hostel next door.
I have lived in New Zealand my whole life and never seen a view like this, the Emerald lakes and the “Mars” like volcanic landscapes were a real highlight!
The walk wasn’t too hard. Starting at Mangatepopo meant that there was an initial incline but from the Emerald lakes on it was fairly relaxed. In saying that, I had very sore calf muscles the next day!
Enjoy the photos…