21 June 2010

New Zealand Jan 2001 - Tongariro Crossing

Day walk to Mt Ngauruhoe, Red Crater, Blue Lake. Tongariro Nat Park

With only four weeks in New Zealand, there is much that you have to simply decide you won't get to see. For us, that was most of the North Island. However, Helen and I couldn't resist the temptation to slip in just one more walk, much to the boys' consternation. In the end, we agreed to leave them watching videos whilst we headed off to walk across the Tongariro.
Our late start was a blessing, as we didn't find any crowds until the South Crater, shown on the left here, below Mt Ngauruhoe. We were unaware that folks were able to climb Mt Ngarauhoe, which was squirting some steam out at the time. Then again, it had its head in the clouds only half an hour earlier.
The Tongariro Crossing is like walking across Mars. Bare, rocky, dry, windy, cold and not enough oxygen. The colours in some of the rocks are pretty amazing, though, as you can see from the two shots of Red Crater below. Emerald Lakes, whilst smelly, aren't even warm.

Red Crater Panorama

Emerald Lakes Panorama

Below, left to right, Mt Ngarauhoe, Red Crater in front of it, Central Crater, Mt Tongariro above it, Helen, Blue Lake and Mt Rotopaunga above it.
Blue Lake Panorama

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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