|Tongariro National Park.|
Photo borrowed from DailyMail.co.uk
Tongariro! The Lord of the Rings! Mount Doom! Frodo and the ring! I'm finally going to see the famous mountains used to film Mordor, and one of New Zealand's most stunning places. Or so I thought.
Tongariro National Park takes its name from Mount Tongariro (1978m), but there are two more - Mount Ngauruhoe (2291m) and Mount Ruapehu (2797m). The latter two have been used in the Lord of The Rings movies, Ngauruhoe being Mount Doom. All three are active volcanoes, which makes them a popular tourist destination. The park offers several walks, the most popular being the one-day Alpine Crossing. It wouldn't be me if the volcanoes, quiet for over a hundred years except for a big burp in 1996, hadn't decided to erupt just as I finally included them in my travelling plans...
But that's not the only reason why my visit to Tongariro National Park was so brief, so disappointing, and why I decided to come back another time. Due to the volcanic activity, the walks I was interested in were closed. In addition, there was still too much snow on Ruapehu, and if that wasn't enough, a whole lot of bad weather was coming from the north.