Thrillseeking in Taupo
Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
30Trip End Feb 15, 2014
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You may have noticed in our previous blogs that we do quite a bit of walking; these walks have been preparing us for the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’, a 20km track not far from Taupo in the Tongariro National Park
The walk winds its way past Mount Ngauruhoe (known as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings) and takes you through some incredible volcanic valleys where you are surrounded by volcanic rocks; it is strange to look around and see a brown and grey landscape with absolutely no green. The weather was perfect for us with a clear blue sky and this meant we could see a long way in to the distance and get some good pictures. There are only two steep parts of the walk which we didn’t find too difficult, one part of the walk was however described as an easy descent, in fact we found this the hardest part as you have to basically skid and slide down a very steep hill. A lot of people were running down the hill, we don’t understand how they could do this; Rachel went slowly and managed to fall on her backside twice
The views during the walk were fabulous and the landscape was like nothing we have ever seen before. We walked past a number of craters, the best of which was red crater; from the summit you look over a sheer drop into the crater below, this was very impressive!
We also decided to do one of the side trips and climbed to the summit of Mount Tongariro. This was again described as easy however we found some of the steep parts to at least be moderate! From the top of Mount Tongariro you can see two snow-capped mountains which you cannot see from anywhere else on the walk.
Towards the end of the walk you pass Te Mari - an active volcano which was pumping smoke into the sky. This was a pretty unique site as there aren't too many places in the world where you can walk right past an active volcano! It was a really good day out and we walked in total around 15 miles (23 kilometres), we were certainly aching a little the next day!
On our last morning in Taupo we went parasailing over the lake. This activity is where you are attached to a parachute and then dragged along in the air by a speedboat; you wear a harness which acts as a seat (like a swing) so it is very comfortable. At 800ft and with perfect weather conditions we had a fantastic view of the area and this was a great way to finish our time in Taupo.