Stu and Liz On Tour travel blog

Liz climbing the Devil's Staircase

Liz in front of Mt Doom

View from the walk

Mt Doom (used in Lord of the Rings)

The red Crater with Mt Doom behind

Coming down from lunch

View of where we have just walked

Liz and Stu at Blue Lake

Just finished!!

Lake Taupo can fit in the whole of Singapore and still have room to row around the edges - pretty cool statistic! The lake is actually an active volcano apparently, with the water filling the crater part of it, and is huge. The town is based on the edge of the lake and there isn't much to do in the actual town, so they make up for it by offering all types of extreme sports (see Stu's Sky Dive section), and by acting as a base for walkers (or trampers as they're called out here) planning on walking in the Tongariro National Park.

We decided to do what is billed as 'The best one day walk in New Zealand'....not sure where they got this statistic from, but it seems to have stuck and everyone quotes it. The walk is through the National Park going past a number of active volcanoes, with the chance to scale a few of them if you're feeling particularly energetic. We took one of the bus services which picks you up from your hostel at 5.40am (bit rude!) and drops you off at the start point, furnished with whatever walking gear you might be missing. It was really really cold at that time of the morning, but this was an advantage as you manage to get the main steep climb section out of the way before the sun rises and gets hotter.

The views were fantastic, and the walk lived up to it's claim. It took us up and over craters and alongside volcanoes, dipping down past emerald lakes and hot springs. In all the walk took 7hrs to do - more walking than we'd done in ages! There was only one thing that you can do after a day like that...... go to a thermal spa and soak in some naturally heated water to soak the aches away - bliss!!

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