The Northern Circuit

National Park Travel Blog

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Mt. Ngauruhoe also refered to as old coney by Caz.

The Tongariro national park is the home of the main volcanoes on the north island and the site of some of the most varied and beautiful landscape we’ve ever seen. Like most of NZ you need to get well away from the roads to get the best views so the park is crossed by many miles of well marked, well maintained hiking routes, with back country huts every 3 to 4 hours walk that provide basic bunks and camping so you can do as many days walking as you like without having to find civilisation.

Last time I convinced Caz to do a multi day hike she vowed never to go again. This time even with the promise of no bears, snakes, or any dangerous animals at all she was still a bit apprehensive. But as the scenery was fantastic and the paths well marked she relented and agreed to go on the Northern Circuit, one of NZ’s ‘Great Walks’.

Billy hitches a lift again.
It’s basically a three day walk around, and then over the smaller two of the parks three volcanoes. It takes you through scrub land, forest, gravel fields, lava flows and alpine landscapes, with a change in altitude of about 1000 meters between the highest and lowest points, with many ups and downs in between. The first day was hard going as we decided to go further than planned, we didn’t reach the hut until about 7.30 in the evening which only left us about an hour of light to eat and chill out before bed (no electric makes people crash early!)

In the morning we were last up at 7am (some people left at 5.30!). As we only had a short walk over the main volcanic plateau planned we were in no hurry to leave. The route took us up about 500 meters to some beautiful lakes and snow fields and then down to the next hut. But alas, 50 meters from the hut I managed to turn my ankle and had to hobble in. A nights rest had no effect other than to increase the bruising and swelling so we had to make the 6km journey down to the nearest road to find a lift back to town. We’re both a bit disappointed to have not made it to the summit but at least it gives me an excuse to come back and finish the walk some day (not that I needed one)

Now were planning to head down to Wellington for a few days rest before going to the south island for some more hiking if my aging body will take it!

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Mt. Ngauruhoe also refered to as o…
Mt. Ngauruhoe also refered to as …
Billy hitches a lift again.
Billy hitches a lift again.
Only walked for 5 mins, still smil…
Only walked for 5 mins, still smi…
10 hours later, not smiling so muc…
10 hours later, not smiling so mu…
1st nights accomodation amongst vo…
1st nights accomodation amongst v…
You told me thered be downhill bi…
You told me there'd be downhill b…
nearly there.
nearly there.
I know i left a hut round here som…
I know i left a hut round here so…
View from our room.
View from our room.
Simon in pole position.
Simon in pole position.
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photo by: Paulovic