This is my itinerary on exploring Tongariro Alpine Crossing: strenuous hike with stunning views.
Highs & Lows
Not as many tourists as one might imagine
Tongariro was windy
Here are the two landscapes that amazed me the most in the North Island of New Zealand. The blue springs are found between Hamilton and Rotorua. It's a very quick and easy walk. I did it after going to admire the waterfalls in Matamata. So it's a hike that's completely different, I would say. However, I have never seen water so transparent and blue at the same time. We can admire all the plants moving in the water and it's quite impressive and calming. Tongariro is a hike well known for its three blue lakes and of course the volcano. This hike requires a little more organization but it leaves memories for a lifetime. I slept in a youth hostel in Ohakune. Then you need to book a bus that will take you to the starting point. This hike is very strenuous so you have to be prepared to walk for a whole day.
Probably one of the most beautiful landscapes I have had the chance to see in my life. The walk is very easy and calming. Access, however, requires a car, in fact it is in a fairly isolated area and there are no buses that can take you there. To be able to admire the beautiful blue of the water, it is best to choose a windless and sunny day. I went there in the middle of summer on a very sunny day and there weren't a lot of tourists. The walk does not last very long, you go there mainly to admire the landscapes so if you make the most of it it can last 3 hours but not more. But you can easily find other short walks in the surrounding area that will resemble this one. There isn't much shade though so remember to bring sunscreen and a hat.
This hike is very popular in New Zealand and we understand why when we go! You will have to climb a volcano before seeing the three turquoise blue lakes of the Tongariro. The start of the hike is very easy because it is mainly flat. Then you have a sign warning you that now the hike is going to get more difficult and it is. The key is to walk at your own pace. I will say that after passing the three lakes the hike becomes quite long and it is difficult to see the end. For my part, I did this hike on a day when the weather was not particularly nice. It was very windy and it was rather cold when I had a picnic by the lake. To access this hike you must take a bus which will take you to the starting point and so you will find your car on arrival. Plan this walk for the whole day, I advise you to leave fairly early in the morning.
Q & A
Anything go wrong during the trip?For the Tongariro be prepare to the cold, and also it’s a very long walk so sleep well the night before!
Tips you would give a friend?For the Tongariro wear hiking shoes. The descent of the volcano is very slippery.
Packing tips?Take plenty of cereal bars, a picnic, warm clothes, and plenty of water.
Any surprises?For the blue spring, I was really surprise about the calm and the peace feeling of this place even if there is people around.
Booking details?For the Tongariro you have to book a bus before.