Photos of New Zealand

Photos from the Tongariro Crossing

There are many great hikes in New Zealand. The hike known as the Tongariro Crossing is one. It's a 7 to 8 hour hike up, around, and past active volcanoes, steam vents, and beautiful emerald-colored lakes. It's an extremely popular hike in New Zealand, so it can be a bit crowded. To alleviate the appearance of having a lot of hikers, the crossing is a one-way route. Even so, on a day like I had - the first good day after heavy snows, it was obvious there were a lot of hikers. I think a lot of people had waited for better weather conditions to make the crossing. But even on this day, it was bitterly cold at the top with very heavy winds. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable hike. The moment when the Emerald Lakes come into view below Red Crater is absolutely spectacular.
From National Park, the little town I stayed at before and after doing the Tongariro Crossing, Mount Ngauruhoe looms in the distance. This is a beautiful, almost symmetrically shaped volcano.
The beginning of the trail consists of a steep climb with the mountains rising alongside of you. The trail actually passes through the "saddle" between two of the higher peaks, with sidetracks that can be taken to the peaks themselves, which often requires the equipment for ice climbs.
New Zealand has its share of waterfalls - even here at Tongariro.
These are active volcanoes. The most recent eruption was in 1995. In places, steam still rises from the ground and the smell of sulfur is very noticeable.
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