Our mountain lodge in Tongariro National Park reminded me of a sweet old school Canadian Ski lodge – lots of fake wood and fireplaces, a great base point for all of our adventures that day. I opted out of the longest (8 hour!) hike and instead decided to do the six-hour Tama lakes hike with a handful of friends from the tour. It felt like we were setting off on an epic adventure together – LOTR style, baby! The hike started out easy at first, we were walking across plains and some foresty areas, and even saw a sweet waterfall.
We walked and walked and WALKED, to the lower lake and sat for a while enjoying the view. Since we were already near the top, we decided it was worth the extra 45 minutes to the top lake, which didn’t look that far away. It ended up being pretty tough going near the top, the gravel pathway was rocky and for every two steps we went forward we took one back. I actually felt like I was climbing up mount doom, hobbit style. Luckily we were better equipped than Sam and Frodo and had packed lunches to eat at the top, enjoying the spectacular view of the countryside around us, mount doom and the two Tama lakes.
The climb down was a lot easier, albeit still super long. We walked through the forested area under the mountain on the way back, along the river, chatting and laughing and wondering if we would ever get back to the chalet. Finally it came into sight, still an hour away but we made it back in the end. I found the sauna that afternoon, and sat with my friend Anna for a looong time soothing our sore muscles. I was super tired and after my long shower and a delicious BBQ dinner I needed my bed in a serious way. We were off to Wellington the next morning bright and early!
- Hiking Mordor, New Zealand’s Tongariro Alpine Crossing (theepochtimes.com)
- Tongariro Crossing (worldlywalker.wordpress.com)
- Tongariro Crossing: Best Day Hike in New Zealand? (twotonedtravelers.wordpress.com)