Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Travel Blog

 › entry 65 of 206 › view all entries

Today we were all up early to get the group to the base of the volcano for the Tongariro Crossing; an 18.5km walk up, across and down the volcano, a walk that takes 6-8 hours through sun, rain and snow. I had decided to opt out of this walk on the basis that the excursions we have done have been so full on and perhaps I am started to accept that I am a bit more of a princess than I like to think after discovering how gruelling even tame-rated excursions are. I was told the first 2 km were virtually straight up and the challenge more a mental obstacle to overcome. I decided that it was too costly to kit myself out with all the necessary hiking kit and that I would probably regret starting the hike after 2 hours and still have 5 hours to contend with.

So I waved goodbye to them all and returned to our super sexy alpine-style hostel, fitted out with dark wood, spa pool, chocolate sofas, cool music, great food and bar. In fact, I entertained myself most of the day by doing the most difficult jigsaw puzzle ever whilst periodically turning round to the stunning, panoramic, alpine vista of snow-capped mountains behind me, just to remind me, as I do frequently, that I am on the other side of the world in a country I always dreamed of visiting.

When they returned I was mildly annoyed that the walk was no where near as difficult as had been described to me, and that I could have taken it very easily. But I'm not too worried since I will visit White Island later in the trip, and I can maybe come back again anyway since I plan to repeat some of my ticket. We all enjoyed some great food in the bar, watched the skydive DVDs and then settled down to watch Whale Rider, a story based on a Maori tribe on the east cape of the North Island. I have seen thisfilm before but it is so much more pertinent after seeing the Maori cultural experience and the film was so much more beautiful.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: annthansten