Today feels like the first day of spring: finally we see the sky and the sun after weeks of cold and grey. It is supposed to last all week, with a peak of 26°C no less on wednesday, so fingers’ crossed!
I’ve been quite busy Friday and Saturday which is why I have missed my weekly date with NZ, but here it is. Today, we have reached, Tangariro National Park. It was most definitly our absolute must see of NZ. I have told before the story (here) of our ‘issues’ to actually get to the park so I will not get back to it.
So what’s to know about Tangariro? Well, it is THE place for all Lords of the Rings nerds, yes, I am of course talking about Mt Doom! You wouldn’t believe how many people told me they took the hike all the way up just to have the immense satisfaction of throwing their own ring into Mt Doom… The Tangariro crossing is among the most amazing tracks that NZ beholds, through three volcanoes.I had heard so many travellers as I crossed NZ raving about it, for being a place outside of this earth, I had come to the point where I was convinced I would somehow be disappointed.
Want to know what I really felt about it? It probably was the best day of my life! It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot not too cold, and it was just plain BEAUTY. If you have the chance, you must take the trouble to go even for just a day walk. We took the walk starting from Whakapapa village (pronounced FAkapapa), I would say it is around 16-17km, and it took us nearly 7 hours (we are not at all hikers, it is an easy one, don’t be scared). You go all the way to the lower Tamar lake, then the serious climbing begins. It is very steep, and if you think the way up is hard, wait till you have to take that same way down… The view on Mt Doom (I’m sorry but I really cannot spell its real name) with the Upper Tamar lake is just way worth the trouble! On our way back we took the track that goes to the Taranaki falls, where we enjoyed a lovely picnic.
Absolut success of a day!
In terms of accomodation, both times I stayed in National Park Village. We first went to Le Plateau Lodge and until we got to Picton, it was our favorite hostel. It looks like a moutain chalet, has a hot tub, a giant flat screen TV in the lounge, a fully equiped kitchen and clean, individual bathrooms. That’s where we shared a room with sort of a weird English girl, who told us how she used to own a pet care shop, sold it to flee her ‘abusive’ uncle (that sort of things you really don’t want to know especially when it is from a stranger you have not a care in the world for) and how she was ‘thinking’ of Jason Statham every night before she fell asleep because ‘he is the hottest man on the planet’.
The second time, don’t ask me why I did not book Le Plateau again, we went to Howard’s Lodge. That place will always behold the memory of G. dropping on me his C. bomb, but I clearly remember the place how I seen it the first time: cute, neat and cosy. We watched all three Lord of the Rings movies with Mom, of course we did, and FYI, the owner of the lodge has played one of the Orcs in the Two Towers 😉
I hope you enjoy these photos, they aren’t giving any justice to the place really, even though I find them ‘picture perfect’.
The long white cloud from the car
Yes, we are climbing that
Lower Tamar Lake
Climbed that too
That’s Mt Taranaki in the distance
And climbed all the way there too
Upper Tamar Lake
The Taranaki falls