Taranaki Falls + Mount Ruapehu (Tongariro National Park, NZ)

We never knew about Tongariro National Park, how the 8-hour Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike is a must-do or how you’d have a drop-dead view of mountains/ volcanoes while hiking, until we were into our fifth day of our road trip.

After hearing about the amazing views and being able to walk in between volcanoes, we dedicated spending a few days in Taumarunui. An intended 3D2N ended up becoming a 4D3N.

Our Airbnb host had so much information about the National Park and even had a folder which was really useful to us. (We later found out she works at one of the cafés on Mt. Ruapehu, which explains her knowledge)


28 October 2015, Wednesday 

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Super useful for us to get our bearings right, courtesy of our Airbnb host.
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Spent some time at the Visitor Center and settled on doing the Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids Walk today.
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Information board covering safety aspect as well. This was the start of other walks too.
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LET’S GO ALREADY.
20 minutes into the hike. Onward we go!
Everything’s just so pretty.
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So happy to be surrounded by nature and to get some exercising done! (Photo: XM)
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Did… we just hike an hour to see this water fall?
There’s more!
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Lush.
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After an hour, the gorgeous view of Taranaki Falls.

 

One of the must see waterfalls in New Zealand!

Walking through a beech forest and being able to see snow-capped mountains is exactly how I like to spend my time.

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On the way back; no idea if this is Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe, or Mt Tongariro.
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Same mountain, I think… Glad the weather held up despite it being so gloomy!

Headed back to Whakapapa Village (where the Visitor Center’s located), rested a bit and drove off to find the start to the Silica Rapids Walk.

We found one of the starting points to be in the middle of nowhere with no proper place to park the car so we scrapped the plan and drove around to explore instead.

Glad we did that instead cause we drove up to Mount Ruapehu, a popular skiing/ snowboarding spot, and managed to see snow up close!


Mount Ruapehu

Slow drive to the mid cause it was really foggy.
Doing what I do best – snap snap snap.
Reaching the Whakapapa Ski Area.
Extremely quiet.
We came slightly after winter ended.
Snow’s started to melt away.
SKY’S DANDRUFF.
Cosy li’l café we found our Airbnb host in.
Sippin’ a hot one in the cold.
So foggy.
Nice break before we continued our plans.
So picturesque that we had to time lapse our journey.

Picked up a couple of hitchhikers along the way and helped them out cause I know I’d never want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere and have no one help me out.

Screw the calories! We deserve some glorious batter-fried seafood.
Drove down to the riverside for dinner with a view.
& then it decided to start raining on us, which meant it was time to go home.

Next up: Tongariro (again) + National Trout Center!

Read more about my previous adventures in New Zealand here:

Till then!


 

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