Tama Lakes and Taranaki Falls, Tongariro National Park NZ

The Tama Lakes / Taranaki Falls Track is an attractive walk through Tongariro National Park, with good views of both the big volcanoes.

The Tama Lakes Track is sometimes billed as a lower-key version of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It is a very nice walk, but it can’t be compared to the Crossing, which is more spectacular. Nevertheless, it is a unique landscape shaped by volcanic forces, and you’ll share it with a fraction of the people. The Tama Lakes are beautiful, especially the Upper Tama, and you get good views of the big volcanos, Mt Ngāuruhoe and Mt Ruapehu. Taranaki Falls was an unexpected highlight, and is well worth a visit by itself. It’s also an easier walk than the Crossing, although not short at about 18km.

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Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park NZ

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing takes you through an otherworldly volcanic landscape, and is New Zealand’s most famous day-walk.

We finally did NZ’s most famous day-walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is on almost all lists of the best day-hikes in the world. It passes through an otherworldly volcanic landscape used for the Mordor scenes in Lord of the Rings.

With some flexibility in our timetable we picked a fine weather day to do the walk. Nevertheless, a rogue weather system brought in unforecasted low cloud just as we arrived at the most spectacular section. Bloody mountain weather! I still got good shots however, if not the very best possible. Continue reading “Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park NZ”