Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

Panorama from top of Ridge trail, looking west

Shirley on trail

Funny plant on the trail

Stream with plumed grasses by the trail


Got up this morning, had apple cake and blueberries for breakfast, and got on the road shortly after 10, heading north toward Taupo, with no plan. So in between helping Larry navigate, I looked ahead to see where we could go, short of Taupo. And I found Tongariro National Park, so I plugged it into the GPS.

It was sunny and nice in Wellington, but there was also a lot of traffic, even on Sunday morning. (Does it mean that I’m antisocial because I hate traffic? L) As we moved north, the traffic lessened, but we began seeing storm clouds ahead. We stopped once, for bathrooms and groceries, and got to the national park about 3:30 pm. The clouds were low enough we could not see the 3 volcanic peaks this park was created for. It was NZ’s first national park.

There is an actual holiday park here (not just a campground), run by the DOC, so we have a kitchen and wifi as well as toilets, showers, and power. Better yet, the sites are separated by bits of forest. Pretty nice, after the parking lot in downtown Wellington.

After we parked, we took a couple short walks before taking our food and utensils to the kitchen for dinner.

The forest is different here than other places we have walked. Definitely not rainforest, but also different than the alpine walks we took at Mt. Cook. Rain is forecast for tonight, but we hope it will be clear enough for us to see the peaks in the morning.

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