Sunday, 25th November – Tongariro

Good night’s kip and a decent, remarkably fairly priced, breakfast. Weather poor – around 12 degrees, rainy and a bit windy.

As the hotel has a guest laundry, we decided to do the washing. These things are important, you know…..

Went to the Visitor Centre about 200 yards up the road to get some ideas. The Centre itself was quite interesting, offering some very useful information about the historical extensive volcanic activity in this area. Apparently, AD186 was a big year – a cataclysmic eruption of Mount Taupo, around 25 kilometres to the north of us, created this massive caldera of volcanoes and craters. The hotel and the surrounding village were built in the early 1930s to take advantage of the burgeoning skiing participation at the time. I have to say that the hotel does show its age in places, but it does have a certain olde worlde charm.

We took a short walk, the Whakapapa Nature Trail, whilst the washing was finishing. Actually, it was rather pretty:

Back to the hotel to sort the washing out, then decided to try the walk to Taranaki Falls, bearing in mind some pretty dire weather forecasting. So, suitably prepared against the elements, off we set on the low road:

Mount Ruapehu – this has erupted on a small scale quite a few times in recent years. It’s 2,800 metres high, so “snow” wonder…..
We actually thought we’d reached the falls when we got here! Thank God we carried on…..

The Taranaki Falls at last. This had been quite a strenuous, undulating walk of an hour or so, and of course we had to get back again. The weather actually hadn’t been too bad, fortunately.

So – we took the high road back to the hotel. Bit like a walk in the North York Moors, to be honest, with the associated weather:

All in all, a very scenic and satisfying, if wet at times, 4-mile circular walk – just about hit the spot as far as we were concerned. We deserved our subsequent time at the bar…..

Took our place for dinner in the main restaurant, looking forward to a nice meal. Unfortunately, it was very disappointing. The soup we had was fine, but Jeans fish dish was no more than OK, and I had to send my venison back as it was all but inedible. Great shame.

Time to plan our journey to Napier tomorrow (oh, and put the washing away……)

2 responses to “Sunday, 25th November – Tongariro”

  1. Fun fact – Whakapapa was one of the locations used for Mordor in the Lord of the Rings films

  2. Not surprised – we'd known of some connection with LOTR and I can understand why they used it – it's quite atmospheric.

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