On March 24th, we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known for being one of the 10 most beautiful day-walks in the world. The walk is 19,4 km and lasts between 6 and 8 hours on average. It is also known for being the famous Mordor in the Lord of the Rings.
The walk is not a loop, so you have two options: starting from the Mangatepopo car park, only walk to the Emerald lakes, then return ; or leave your car at the walk arrival on Ketetahi car park and take a shuttle that will take you to the walk star tat the Mangatepopo car park to do the whole walk and then get back your car at the arrival. We chose the second option and took a Tongariro expeditions shuttle (book in advance the day before) for 30$ per person. It is pretty expensive, and as we read many times, the second part of the walk is not really worth it so you’d better go to the Emerald lakes and then retrace your steps.
So here we are on our way to a big day. The beginning is nice under the sun. To Soda Springs, the walk is pretty easy. Then you have to climb the Devil’s staircase: stairs, and again stairs. That being said, it’s only cat’s pee compared to the stairs of the Mueller hut track in Mount Cook. Once the stairs were behind us, the weather started to get bad, to the point where we could not see at 10 meters around us. Consequently, we did not see the Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes or the Blue Lake… The rest of the walk was in almost apocalyptic conditions, we could not see anything and were really wet despite our rain coats. A bit disgusted, we continued our walk because we had to get back to our car anyway. We started a really slippery slope (a nice fall on the butt for Lauriane), and finished the walk. The last part is long, really long.
Anyway, it was a heavy defeat for us. We often read that the weather conditions can change quickly, here we were told that there would only be possible showers around 3-4 pm but it was a lot worse than expected.
As a result, we only take a few pictures. With Elodie and Amine’s approval, here are some of their pictures to see the beauty of the scenery when the weather is good.