So having never done the Tongariro Crossing, which has been described as NZ's greatest 1 day walk, I decided that I should really try and do it before I departed for the rest of my OE again. The decision was made a lot easier as Craig
was keen to do it as well (he's done it heaps of times and was offering to carry any gear I had as he's in training for the Pacific Crest Trail
). Anyway we and some more friends Quizzy and Robyn headed down to the Central North Island to give this world famous track a go.
It was sadly not the best weather for it, but we at least completed it. (In 1996 on school camp, we started the crossing and got to the top of the Devil's Staircase, only to have to turn back due to the poor weather). Below are pics from the day.
The track map, courtesy of the Department of Conservation. We started at the Mangatepopo carpark and finished at Ketetahi Road End Me! D'you believe me when I say that the visibility was poor! This was a brief moment when the cloud cleared and we had a perfect view of Mt Ngauruhoe I promise you there's a lake behind the cloud Ah there it is! Quizzy, Robyn, Me & Craig posing on the shore of the Blue Lake It was REALLY windy along the ridge! Pretty views heading down the other side, with nicer weather too! Try and spot Craig in this photo... A digger! Not really what you expect to see when you're on a nature walk! (It looked like they were making a new track) Just call me Strider!
So although not the best weather the Tongariro Crossing can be done in, most of the 17km track was still fun (not the steep bits though). Will definitely be doing it again, but only in sunny weather next time!