After my Vipassana meditation retirement (I’ll come back to that), I still had a few days in New Zealand before going to Sydney for the new years eve! I first spent Christmas Eve in Auckland (a colleague loaned me her house) before renting a car (Budget, I recommend!). The weather being unpredictable difficult to plan the trip in advance. But I had a big dream: see the mounts of the North Island with the sun 😅.
PS: It’s with a lot of delay that I finish my series of article on New Zealand with the mounts, I spent my time enjoying my trip in Australia 😉.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
I already hiked in the middle of these mounts last year but the weather had not really been on my side … So if you want to see how it looks like with clouds go by here.
So I took the road on December 25 (try you will see that it is very difficult to find lunch 😂) in Tongariro direction. I booked a night at Ski HAus at National Park (very good!). I watched every possible weather site every half hour and finally decided to book a shuttle for the next day! It was not the big blue sky but I could see everything and finally officially became the best hike of my life!
The wind made it possible to move the clouds quickly so I could make a beautiful photo of the Mount Doom 😍
I also had the opportunity to see the red crater. I admit that it was not necessarily what I wanted to see the most and yet the color is really beautiful !! (I could better see the color without a cloud a little later but without a photo).
Then I finally could see the emerald lakes (and without falling this time!).
And still the awesome blue lake!
Ironically the weather at the end of the hike was pretty bad while it was the only sunny part on my first try 😅. I ran into the forest to have the shuttle immediately and so join the same evening New Plymouth.
The mount Taranaki
The time being a bit counted I decided to go the next day to the “puddle hike” (Mangorei track). I don’t know why but I did not imagine the point of view so high! Although having no muscle pain following the Tongariro, the infinite stairs was not necessarily my favorite part ^^. Unfortunately once up, although the mount was relatively clear (but with some clouds), the reflection was not possible. Indeed the wind disturbed the water which could not reveal its mirror effect😥.
Little anecdote, on the way back I put my foot down in a big puddle of mud up to the ankle 😅. Fortunately I had a short and flip flop in the car allowing me to change and not dirty the rental car…
I booked a bed at the Edmont Eco leisure. It’s quiet enough but in a residential area so a car is needed.
The next day, before going back to Auckland I looked for the best views of the mount (which had less cloud that day). I was at the famous architectural bridge, Te Rewa Rewa (20 minutes to have a photo without anyone😅).
Then I went to Lake Mangamahoe which offers a great ride and a great view!