Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way...
Trip Start Oct 26, 2008
14Trip End Jan 13, 2009
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Where I stayed
We drove on to the town National Park in Tongariro NP were we stayed on the tent site next to a hostel. The nex day we started walking the Northern Circuit from Whakapapa (pronounced fa-ka-pa-pa). The weather was perfect for the walk, it has to be clear and sunny cause you walk in 1400 m to 1800 m above sea level through volcanoes and craters that you otherwise wouldn't be able to see.We had only planned on walking 9 km the first day andthen the last 20 km the next day, but because the weatherso good we decided to continue and walk 12 km more (good thing we did cause the next day it was pouring down). The first track was so incredibly bad with soil erosions and slippy mud and I fell at least 3 times, but the last 12 km were better cause hundreds of people walk this bit everyday.
This bit is called the Crossing and takes you in between two volcanoes, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro both still active, across craters and past hot pools. It was an amazing tour and we were extremely lucky with the wether. It did smell of rotten eggs around the pools but you kind of got used to that. We stayed at the Ketetahi hut onthier tentsite and in the night it got really windy and the rain poured down. We both had trouble sleeping because of the noise from the rain and the cold but we got through the night knowing that we wuld be sleeping in a beatiful otel the next day. We stayed in the hut till noon waiting for the rain to ease down. We got the bus ack to Whakapapa after walking 9 km in rain and in Whakapapa the great chateau awaited us. We must have looked a bit funny when walkng ino the hotel, with dripping dirty boots nd clothes and a tent that we needed to dry, but they were very nice to us and we could hang the tent in the drying room which they normally use in th ski season. It was so nice to ave your own room with a clean bathroom and even tv and minibar, and a pool and sauna in the cellar. We had dinner in the restaurant, the Ruapehu Room.
We slep in the next morning and had breakfast served in our room. Attached to the hotel thre was also a 9 hole golfcourse, the highest lying golfcourse in NZ, and a tnns court. Ben had his first goat playing golf and it went really well. We played all nine holes and he's definitely got talent.
In the evening we had booked the christmas dinner at he together with many other people. There was a huge buffet with oysters, sushi, salads, turkey and 50 other things to choose, and at the same there was live piano music. We didn't want to leave the hotel, it was so nice to have you own double room but it was also expensive so we said bye bye chataeu on boxing day and left fo Taupo.