Our first days on the North Island and we are at the impressive Tongariro National Park. We have been touring around the South Island for the past 3 weeks, which we absolutely loved! And our last week of our New Zealand Tour is dedicated to the North Island. And one of the places I have been looking forward to so much to visit on the North Island is the Tongariro National Park where the plan is to do the long and famous dayhike called "Tongariro Alpine Crossing". A very challenging hike, but it looks so spectacular, so without a doubt on my must-do dream list!
I have it all planned out, and trained at home to get in shape.... but, but, sometimes travel plans do not go as expected. And unfortunately for the past few days I got sick with quite a high feber... no way I could do this hike :-( But still I managed to enjoy a bit of the spectacular nature of the Tongariro.
All the photos in the collage below are clickable, so you can view the larger photo.
our daily visitors in the garden, a group of quails
The Skyline walk takes about 1,5 to 2 hours
Happy Feet :-) going down again on the skilift
Walk around the lakes is approximately 5 kilometers. Getting only to the lake is much shorter however, around a 20 minutes walk. A lot of conservation work has been going on, and the most likely you will hear the song of the North Island Robin. But there are also bigger birds you can spot, like the kãkã, kererü or Falcon.
Beginning opposite the parking area, the track winds gently uphill to the track junction. To walk around the lake, turn right and follow a short section of gravelled track before dropping down towards Five Minute Beach. Here a broad tree stump provides a good spot to view the lake.
the track winds gently uphill to the track junction. From here you can choose to go either left or right to walk around the lake.
Rotopounamu fills a crater nestled into the western side of Mount Pihanga. It is nine metres deep and covers one square kilometre. The name of the lake comes from the Maori words 'roto' (lake) and 'pounamu' (greenstone). Long Beach sweeps along the eastern side of the lake and is an ideal spot for a picnic or rest stop. There is a toilet here. The track continues to the northern shore where three of the lake's four tributary streams enter the lake. The lake usually has no visible outflow, however when the water levels are low a small outflow can be seen near the shore on the southern side of the lake. Continuing on, you pass Ten Minute Beach and soon return to the track junction. From here it is downhill to the carpark. Allow two hours for a leisurely walk around the lake. Shorter option From the road, take the track up to the junction and turn left. This short 20 minute walk will bring you to Ten Minute Beach, a pleasant picnic and swimming spot in summer. Getting there 11 km from Turangi off SH47, the parking area is signposted on the south side of Te Ponanga Saddle.
Simone & Åke, Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand, March 2017
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