Lakes & Volcanoes in the North Island
Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
86Trip End Apr 01, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Top 10 Campsite
Also in Taupo we drove around the lake for views of the volcano which were slightly obscured by cloud, impressive scenery nonetheless
Next stop is Tongariro National Park. On our way, we stop off for some more walks around the many lakes and a stop at an old battleground where apparently the first battle using trench warfare happened. We get to Tongariro National Park where some of the Lord of the Rings films were filmed but also is a walking and skiing destination. We drive up to the ski centre for an impressive view of the sparse landscape – except for the odd volcano towering about us, including 'Mount Doom’ from Lord of the Rings. We watch the South Africa-Australia game (possibly the most exciting game we saw) and New Zealand-Argentina game at the campsite, during which we meet a couple from New Zealand – after the game they give us their phone numbers for a contact in an emergency. We have encountered this several times now – the friendliness of New Zealanders. Plus stories from other rugby world cup fans that have been taken fishing or offered a place to stay after meeting people in pubs – the hospitality of New Zealand has been a highlight so far – along with all the amazing scenery and rugby banter.
Unfortunately the ski season is still on and so we can’t do the Alpine Crossing day hike we had planned for the next day, instead we settle for a 17k hike around the lower areas and Tamas Lakes. The scenery is amazing, the weather stays dry (although we never see the top of the volcano) and the view of the lakes are impressive as they were created by crater blasts. We hope to return here in the summer to do the Alpine Crossing and maybe see the top of the volcano!