Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand (map)
When you plan to travel for longer than the normal 2 week vacation it can be overwhelming to make decisions on where to visit. Thankfully Dustin and I both agree on what makes a place a must see for us. We tend to want to visit countries based on what they offer us from an outdoors perspective. Although it can be considered a cliche, we definitely rely on the Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage site to lead us to many places in the countries we visit. They even do a great job classifying sites into the categories of “Natural” or “Cultural”.
When it comes down to it though, Dustin and I typically find our travel passion along mountainous hiking trails that sometimes lead us to spectacular waterfalls or even an erupting volcano.
So while on the topic of an erupting volcano this leads me to tell you about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek. While in New Zealand we were lucky to get advice from some friends who happen to live in the country. A major plus was the fact that they have similar interests to us (this is clear considering we met them on our Everest Base Camp trek). So, when our friend Robbie sent us a highlight list for the North Island and it included this Alpine Crossing trek, we knew we had to do it. Despite a recent volcanic eruption and some of the trail being closed, we were still able to do what most people believe is the best section of the trek. Although I am not a huge Lord of the Rings fan, it was pretty awesome to see Mt. Doom up close and personal.