Te Araroa Trail over the Tongariro Crossing
A perfectly clear sky greeted us as we caught the 6am bus outside the YHA National Park. We got to the Mangatepopo car park around 6.30 and began the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. As I mentioned yesterday, this was my 3rd time up this year, but each time I start I get butterflies.. It’s such a special place.
Because we were early in the day and early in the season, we didn’t start with 2,000 other people, but more like 50 – which is still too many for us 🙂 so we got a good pace on and were up the devil’s staircase by 7.45am. We reached the red crater by 8.30am.
Wow – what spectacular views!!! The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often called “the world’s best day walk” and I’m pretty sure it is!!! Kiwis, if you haven’t been, you really really must go – but do go early/late in the season & as early in the morning as you can.
We couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day weather-wise!! We had an early break at the top overlooking the Emerald lakes, and a little swirl of cloud started to come over. It got a bit chilly momentarily so I was pleased to have my gloves and buff to put on. We made a slow descent and got to Ketetahi by 12.30pm, and waited an hour for the bus to pick us up.
Once back… You guessed it, we spent the afternoon in the cafe eating and planning our next few days.