Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Crossing - This was one of the highlights from my recent stay in New Zealand. Tongariro Crossing is rated one of best one-day treks in the world. The trek basically cuts across two active volcanoes - Mt Ngaurohoe and Mt Tongariro, located in central north island of New Zealand. The trek is 19.4kms long (one way), it took us a little over 6 hours to complete it. I've done a few treks in Queensland's rainforests but Tongariro Crossing easily beats them in all aspects like scenery, terrain, weather conditions and difficulty. It is the most scenic walk I've done so far.

The best parts of the trek for me are:

a. The breathtaking view from Red Crater. The Red crater is reached by climbing a steep section of Volcanic ridge aptly named Devil's staircase. It took us about 90 arduous minutes to reach the top. Hard work. But boy, wattey view!

b. Sliding, falling...sliding, falling on scoria and damp pebble-filled sand. Sore bums...but it was fun!

c. Emerald Lakes and Blue Lake - stunning colour of the lakes! The lakes, we were told, are small volcanic craters. The lake water is obviously unsuitable for drinking due to high mineral content.

d. Soda Springs


e. Opportunity to take great photographs. Mum Nature overwhelms you with her beauty. The camera, even if its a DSLR, does not do full justice.

f. Hot spa and a cold drink after a hard days work :D Ahh.

Here are some photos of my photos:

The zero km mark.

The green of Mangatepopo Valley

Are you sure? Signboard at the start of Devil's staircase. They did warn us! :) Photo Credit: Lars

Couple. The gentleman had a Canon 7D.
Track to the base of Mt Ngauruhoe
Mt Ngauruhoe. That's a neat cloud cover, isn't it? :)
Some hikers planned to stay overnight. Look, they even brought their kettle!
Green lake. Check out the steam coming from the vents. It smelled soo....sulphury.
I didn't do the Tongariro Summit climb. It's a 1hr and 20mins of 45-50 degree climbing and back. Too much for this slugger. Next time, may be.

It was great. Tongariro Crossing is a must-do if you like hiking and are visiting NZ.