one of the most popular tourist attractions that i have had on my list of things to do in NZ since i've been here has been to do the infamous trek through the tongariro crossing. if you google "emerald lakes NZ," you'll see exactly why this has been at the top of the "must dos." it's about a 6 hour hike in the central part of the north island, that has some pretty spectacular views. unfortunately, as the weather is slightly precarious in NZ, i have unsuccessfully attempted to complete these trek 4 times, all of which were cancelled due to poor forecasts. this past weekend, however, i got together with a group of friends and we committed to make the 5 hour drive from auckland down to taupo to finally do the crossing.
as it's quite a long trek, it's best to begin the crossing early in the morning, so we decided to leave town after work on friday to make the journey down to taupo. we drove through rain and fog across the winding roads through the pitch black night. finally, we arrived at the backpackers we were staying at, to find some paperwork detailing our stay:
name: aimee gulliver
room number: 27
paid deposit: yes
need to pay more: no
travel to the crossing: definitely not going
definitely not going?!? awesome way to find out that the whole purpose of us driving down was now an impossibility. via pink highlighter on our hostel documentation.
despite this set back, we decided to remain positive and stay the night anyway; hopeful that the weather might surprise us with sunshine and clear skies the next day. plus, it was midnight and we were tired. we woke up the next day to grey skies, and a very frazzled hostel keeper who didn't deal with conflict very well (but that's a WHOLE other blog post...). we were still "definitely not going" according to him, and eventually we decided he wasn't just being dramatic about the weather when we read the report that there were 90km winds at the top of the mountain.
frazzled hostel director (brian) suggested we make the best of it, and though he was pretty much the last person on earth we wanted to take advice from (we had a little beef with him not telling us pre-5 hour drive that the trip was cancelled), make the best of it we did and we decided to do a 2 hour hike to taranaki falls.
i considered posting these photos and pretending like this is tongariro. i mean really, you wouldn't know unless you google imaged these places to check up on my blog accuracy. but honesty is the best policy, or something like that right?
trek on the way to the falls. told you the weather wasn't good.
a smaller fall on the way. which was very disappointing for a minute when we thought this was "it."
taranaki falls - the real deal.
underneath the falls. because we were adventurous by climbing behind them. and stupid by bringing our digital cameras.