Tongariro Alpine Crossing

For the last 15 months we have been opening our home to airbnb guests. It’s been really interesting. We have met so many lovely people, and we now have new friends from all over the world! For reasons which I will explain later on in my post, I have filled in the availability calendar for our home, so it is unavailable for a time, but we did have two guest rooms which have been well used. Here are the links to those rooms if you would like to have a look.

https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/5197223?guests=1&s=0RoqnXBa

https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/5232994?guests=1&s=0RoqnXBa

The summer months seem to have been the most popular for tourists visiting New Zealand. The most common places of interest that our visitors have been to see before they got to our home in little Waitara (Taranaki), has been the Waitomo Caves and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Most of our visitors travelled south from Auckland and were making their way down to the South Island, where they planned on driving down to visit Queenstown. The popular cities that I heard mentioned visited in the North Island were Auckland, Rotorua and Taupo. And, of course, I would promote a visit to our local city of New Plymouth, of which I have already written a blog post about!

New Plymouth – It’s a fabulous city!

When our guests spoke of the wonderful experiences they had seeing the Waitomo Caves, and walking / tramping the Tongariro Crossing, I would feel slightly guilty. Here I am a New Zealander, and I haven’t even been to either of those places myself, well I hadn’t! But I have now. In April I took my grandson to the Caves 🙂 We only went through the Glow worm cave but it was fantastic. I have visited the Jenolan Caves near the Blue Mountains in Australia, and I have to say that the Waitomo Caves are equally as good. Definitely worth the visit.

In March I joined a group of local people to travel North to The National Park to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and I have to say it was the highlight of my year so far! It was amazing, and what a sense of achievement to have completed it! Yes, I can definitely say it was on my bucket list (after hearing about it so much from our visiting tourists) and it has now been ticked off!

The distance of the crossing. We had a guide with us so we turned at the highest point of the crossing, carried on to Tongariro summit and then our guide led us back to the start point.

The distance of the crossing. We had a guide with us so we turned at the highest point of the crossing, carried on to Tongariro summit and then our guide led us back to the start point.

Full of excitement and energy as we start the crossing :-)

Full of excitement and energy as we start the crossing 🙂

This is part of the path from the starting point. By mid morning there is a steady traffic of people walking/climbing the crossing. It is a very popular and manageable climb but is definitely challenging as well.

This is part of the path from the starting point. By mid morning there is a steady traffic of people walking/climbing the crossing. It is a very popular and manageable climb but is definitely challenging as well.

The only toilets en route!

The only toilets en route!

One of our first stops. And look at the wonderful view!

One of our first stops. And look at the wonderful view!

Mt Taranaki way in the distance

Mt Taranaki way in the distance

Walking across the plain towards the climb to the Summit

Walking across the plain towards the climb to the Summit

further along the long plain

Further along the long plain

Looking across to Mt Ngauruhoe

Looking across to Mt Ngauruhoe

Looking over the edge :-)

Looking over the edge 🙂

Our little group of trampers- plus the photographer :-)

Our little group of trampers- plus the photographer 🙂

That was much harder to climb than it looks!

That was much harder to climb than it looks!

The big climb up to the Crossing peak

The big climb up to the Crossing peak

Just a little climb from here to where the main crossing walk starts the descent to the car park

Just a little climb from here to where the main crossing walk starts the descent to the car park

The last slope upwards

The last slope upwards

The view of an old vent on the volcano

The view of an old vent on the volcano

another view of the old crater vent. Can you seee the people climbing across the other side?

Another view of the old crater vent. Can you see the people climbing across the other side?

Daughter Joanna looking at the wonderful views with the lakes below

Daughter Joanna looking at the wonderful views with the lakes below

Mt Ngauruhoe with Mt Ruapehu behind

Mt Ngauruhoe with Mt Ruapehu behind, and the Tongariro summit ahead 🙂

Joanna with Ngauruhoe behind her

Joanna with Ngauruhoe behind her

Yay! We did it. Mt Tongariro Summit!

Yay! We did it. Mt Tongariro Summit!

My friend Julie with the two magnificent mountains behind her

My friend Julie with the two magnificent mountains behind her

Our lunch spot at the summit of Mt Tongariro

Our lunch spot at the summit of Mt Tongariro

From the summit looking back to the crossing

From the summit looking back to the crossing

The terrain we meandered down back to the carpark

The terrain we meandered down back to the carpark

Sitting on damp spongy moss for our afternoon tea :-)

Sitting on damp spongy moss for our afternoon tea 🙂

Such a wonderful feeling! We had just climbed Tongariro with Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu in sight :-)

Such a wonderful feeling! We had just climbed Tongariro with Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu in sight 🙂

The long walk back down! But it was sure worth the effort :-)

The long walk back down! But it was sure worth the effort 🙂

After four long years of just having my husband and myself at home, this year has completely changed for us. We now have two of our adult children living back home, and we also have three of our grand children living here with us as well. We are so spoilt to have company all the time, and activity filling our lives. Children are great at keeping you young. So, this is the reason that our airbnb is now closed for a time, but I am very thankful for the time we had our guests staying here. If it wasn’t for their wonderful recollections, telling me about doing the Tongariro Crossing, or seeing The Waitomo Caves, I probably wouldn’t have put the effort in to see them for myself!

Now I can be the ‘expert’ when we eventually open our airbnb again.

If you have 20 minutes to spare I have also made a movie file of the crossing 🙂

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One Response to “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”

  1. Bessie says:

    Really enjoyed this blog Pam. Yes a wonderful achievement – I can appreciate that more now I’ve seen the photos of the terrain. But OH the views. Thank you for sharing them and well done.

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