Tongariro Travel Blog› entry 29 of 70 › view all entries
New Zealands best day-hike?
well, it's the only one i've done, but it's absolutely amazing! highly recommended! 18 k's, a good climb up, and way too much downhill in the end (about 3 hours only going down, hurts my toes, and knees!) but the view is amazing. absolutely stunning. and being up close to mount doom is just really cool :D and the emerald lakes is a sight i won't forget easily. the landscape is just amazing... best hike i've done in ages.We started off with a loong drive, I'm guessing it was longer than planned since the broken trailer made us sleep in Taupo, and not on the campsite we were supposed to.
As soon as the bus stopped at the start of the hike, most of us fell out and headed straight for the toilet.
We'd been told that the first hour would be pretty much straight up, and from there it would be mostly down. was not looking forward to the downhill, and really worried about my fitness level for the straight up. But looking at the path it seemed to go on for ages in a very flat kind of way, not at all steep. So i guessed they'd been exaggerating like crazy, as our guide had tendency to do in Australia. But exaggerating didn't seem like a very kiwi thing to do (even though our tour-dude is English...), so i decided to have my cancer-stick before we started, instead of while walking, just in case...
looking at the sign I was wondering whether 2 hours really would take us two hours, these things usually comes with a pretty good slack, but the ketetahi roadend, our goal for the day, still seemed very far away at 7-8 hours.
Turns out the first hour was a nice stroll along the pretty wide path, going a bit uphill, but really not very steep. Altough all the lava-rocks on the path made sure we had to watch our step the whole time. When we reached Soda springs, after about an hour and forty minutes or so, and the toilets there, I was amazed by how close together the toilets were, in the middle of nowhere (although there were lots of people everywhere). New Zealand sure knows how to take care of their tourists :D
Then the hard part started. This is where the one hour of straight up came. Straight up, through lots and lots of big lava-rocks. but the rocks were really good, it was very nice to have something to hold on to, and i practically climbed up more than walked.
When we finally made it to the top, a lot of us sat down to have a snack break. So needed! Of course it wasn't really the top, there was still a pretty steep uphill to go, but it seemed like a nice stroll compared to the climb we'd just had. Once there it seemed like this was the main lunch spot, right next to the sign that pointed in different directions, and told us that there was still 3 hours and 25 minutes to go. I didn't doubt it for a second, the signs were very accurate in their estimation of how long it would take us.
on our way to wellington we drove through the capital om gum-boot throwing. interesting.