Tramping (also known as Hiking), is a common past time in New Zealand – with most people tramping every hill, mountain and cliff top imaginable. It was time to give it a go!
We had heard of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from friends, and decided on the way back up to the North Island, that we would give it a go.
Unlike a lot of the backpackers in the area, we stayed a little outside the local city, in 20’s style hotel, the Chateau Tongariro. After reading reviews and listening to other’s experiences, we realised we were totally under prepared for tramping this crossing. But of course, went ahead and booked an early transfer to the start of the crossing for the next morning.
We embraced the 25km hike, up and around volcanoes, with no hiking gear whatsoever….
The first thing we noticed, was the people. We have been totally spoilt by nature on this trip, so we always try to go to the places that wont be filled with tourists, and we can experience things on our own. It was a little off putting that this whole experience was with 100s of other people.
Every hill was a great achievement, we saw natural beauty at its best – the sun was on our side, and seeing the red volcano appear from behind the clouds was incredible. High altitudes made it a little breathless at times, but it was a great endurance track for Michiel’s training, and something we are happy we experienced.
Getting to the bottom of this volcano was tricky, not just because of the people – but the sliding volcanic ash and rock made for a steep and unsteady slide down!
Luckily, we didn’t need the 101 things we were told we would need (phew!), and completed the crossing! Although Michiel’s knee was sore after, it was such a great achievement to do this distance with tough terrain. Hoorah for us!
As I have lowered lung capacity, these things can be tough, but the stubborn, determined person I am, carried on and pushed myself to keep going, right to the summit! Proud Holly!
Apart from the 100s of people, this day was a great experience, and a way to experience nature in all its glory – from steaming pools, to volcanos – it is well worth doing.