On a clear day, Tongariro National Park is the most beautiful place in the North Island. New Zealand’s first national park, it contains three volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. You can go skiing on Ruapehu, but the best thing to do in the park is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It’s a medium-level hike you can do in one day. The scenery is unbelievable.
This is my sister, photo courtesy of my dad. Here are the best pictures they got of the crossing:
There are shorter, easier walks to do in Tongariro as well. Last time we were there, my partner and I did the two-hour Taranaki Falls Loop Track.
It was the middle of winter and the park was shrouded in mist. This meant we couldn’t see any of the peaks, but we were compensated with another kind of beauty…
The loop starts and ends in Whakapapa Village, right at the foot of Ruapehu. Here, you’ll find a grand, old, Art Deco hotel called the Chateau Tongariro. I had the best high tea of my life there.
We didn’t stay at the hotel, though. We were, of course, in a campervan. Here it is in front of Mt Ngauruhoe:
By Abigail Simpson, author of Poms Away: A British Immigrant’s View of New Zealand