New Zealand: Tongariro NP – Tongariro Alpine Crossing (part 1)
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in located in the Tongariro National Park on the North Island of New Zealand. It’s 24.5km day hike and is one of the most spectacular in the world – you pass by three snow covered and yet still smoldering volcanoes – Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngaruhoe, multiple emerald lakes, and lava flows. The first half of the day-long hike leads up the slopes of Tongariro – used as the “Mountain of Doom” in the “Lord of he Rings”. The landscape is truly moon-like and very active volcanically – there are fumaroles, sulfuric vents, lava flows of all types and sizes, loose tephra rocks. Optional hikes to the tops of the two volcanoes are possible as well. Both volcanoes have deep snow cover at the top, so depending on the season – you will be hiking through knee-deep snow.