Friday, February 27, 2009

The Tongariro Crossing

We left Wellington on Thursday morning and drove to the town of Turangi. It's tucked in just north of Tongariro National Park and just South of Lake Taupo.

The day we arrived we decided to do the Tongariro Crossing the next day since bad weather was suppose to be coming the day after that.

The Crossing is the most popular trek in New Zealand. It's 12.6 miles long and goes up and over step terrain between the two volcanoes of Mt. Ngauruhoe & Mt. Tongariro.

It's listed as a seven hour hike, but we did it in four hours and 50 minutes. Had we known that we would have to wait two hours for the bus to take us back to town, we would have taken our time. Here's Kelly at the start of the trek.

Here's Kelly on a boardwalk shortly after we started.

A few flowers we found growing along the way.

Kelly coming up the trail as we gain elevation.

Dave & Kelly at the highest point on the trek.
Emerald Lakes on the Tongariro Crossing.

Just as we got to the top and looked down on the Emerald Lakes, a helicopter landed. We both looked at each other and said "Norman's Here!"
For those of you who don't know Norman, he's a friend of ours who surprises us at times with visits in his helicopter or private Jets. (or so he likes to believe)

Dave checking out the trail map.

Some of the beautiful volcanic scenery on the trek.

The top of Mt. Ngauruhoe as some clouds moved through.
This mountain was used in the final Lord of the Rings film as the mountain where Frodo & Sam climbed to to get rid of the ring.

The side of Mt. Ngauruhoe.

Dave on the Tongariro Crossing.

This boardwalk through the forest was at the end of our long hike. We were happy to finally reach the end, but thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful trek.

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