Earlier this year, Daniel and I decided to do a spur of the moment trip down to Taupo, New Zealand to do the iconic Tongariro Crossing, which is about a 20km hike/walk. It is one of the most popular day hikes in New Zealand, and tourists come from all over to experience its many features. The crossing passes through the volcanic terrain of the active volcano Mount Tongariro, and also by the base of Mount Ngauruhoe (better known as Mount Doom).
Although it is not an easy hike, it is most definitely worth it. It took us around 8 hours to complete it, including lunch breaks and picture taking time. There are a few incredibly steep inclines that seem to go on forever, but usually there is an awesome view of something cool once you reach the top. There are parts of the hike that are super flat, long and deserted, which feels like you are walking across another planet. And of course the last 2-3 hours is just walking down a small incline of a trail that winds back and forth all the way down the mountain, and then through this crazy jungle like forest. You honestly were able to experience so many different environments throughout the hike.
Daniel and I went to Taupo for a weekend in March, but we weren’t sure which day we were going to do the hike. The weather in New Zealand is very bipolar, and we wanted to make sure it was going to be good weather. Luckily the day we went on ended up being a beautiful sunny day, and we had amazing views of everything. I highly recommend going in summer and fighting off all the tourists for a picture, because the view quality is just awesome, and you might miss some things if it’s foggy or snowy in the winter. Also being at high altitude, it does get very cold on the hike. We didn’t even think to bring warm clothes like a jacket or gloves because it was warm in the city, but I still got cold during some parts and couldn’t feel my fingers! If you get cold easily like me, I’d suggest bringing gloves or a warm jacket.
My favorite part of the entire hike was how many awesome photo opportunities you had around every corner and bend of the hike. No matter how exhausted I was when I reached the top of a section we were climbing, I was always yelling for Daniel to take my picture. There were amazing views of both volcanoes, so many thermal lakes and pools with vibrant colors, and panoramic views of the entire volcanic area once you reach a high viewing point.
I could not feel my legs or bend my knees by the end of the day, but it was still a really cool experience. I’m not sure how willing I would be to do it again, but those kids that finished shortly after I did looked like they could go another round!
Here are some of the pictures we took throughout the day, we hope you enjoy them.
Thanks for reading ❤