Travel Choices

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.

Hike begins
A very, very early start…
Sunrise
Tongariro Sunrise
Shadows
Already gaining altitude, but the sun hasn’t caught us yet
Climbing
The real climbing starts at the Devil’s Staircase amongst volcanic rock
Flat section
Enjoying this flat, desert like section in the South Crater after all the climbing
Sulphur smells
Is it just me or is it the sulphur?
Mt. Doom
Yoga posing round the world – Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Red Crater
Posing with the Red Crater
Mt. Doom
Mt. Doom or Mt. Ngauruhoe (it’s real name)
View over Blue and Emerald Lakes
View over the Blue and Emerald Lakes
Above the clouds
Hiking above the clouds
Volcanic Rock
Up, up we go on the volcanic rock trail
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Panoramic
Panoramic view of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Warning
Normally we don’t follow these sorts of warnings…
Eruption
But…after seeing this we thought we should listen to the experts 🙂
Highway road view
View of the trek from Highway 47

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5 thoughts on “Travel Choices

  1. I’m a huge lover of hiking too! Those are some amazing views and vistas, I’d love to get my butt there one day! If you like hiking Vancouver is a good place to visit too… Yes, I’m biased, but we’re SO close to nature here, weekend warriers can come and see scenery to die for within 1/2 an hour of downtown! Well, half and hour drive. Then you have to huff it to get to the viewpoints!

    1. We are really wanting to visit Vancouver soon, but can’t decide if we should wait until summer so we can do more hiking and mountain biking. Can you do these in the winter, spring, and fall?

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