After seeing the pictures Brendon had taken while hiking the Tongariro Crossing with our brother-in-law, Craig, I was convinced that I should pay a visit to good ol’ Tongariro to take in some of these mesmerizing sights for myself.
Brendon and I ventured south to Tongariro National Park this past weekend to hike the 19+km Tongariro Crossing.
The journey was long, but as far as “tramps” go, this one was a good one. The trails were nicely groomed and very well maintained. I’m always a fan of treks that don’t make you trudge through any kind of water, and this one was moisture free- we didn’t even get rained on.
The scenery you encounter along the way is mind-boggling. It’s crazy that an 8-hour journey by foot can take you across barren plains, through rolling hills, up rocky volcanic peaks, over rugged mountains, beside aqua-marine lakes, and around a valley of molten lava formations. I was a bit anxious to get to the top of our climb, because I knew this is where all the “good stuff” would be.
I was especially excited to see the Emerald Lakes, which are oh so stunning amidst the surrounding rock and ashes.
Once our visit to the lakes were over and done with, I got a big antsy. Most of the good photo ops were over, and I was pretty much ready to be done with it. The problem was, we still had another 3.5 hours of tramping to go until we reached the end of the track, where Baby Shea was waiting. I was not the happiest tramper from that point on… but we eventually did make it out of the never-ending forest that made up the last leg of the journey.
I probably wasn’t as mentally prepared as I could have been for the 8 hour journey, as my mind couldn’t help but wander to school work and planning, and the other things I probably could have been doing. But it was certainly refreshing to get away and be surrounded by such enchanting scenery, which hardly seems “natural,” although it certainly is.