The Northern Circuit
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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’.
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!