Four weeks back, we journeyed to Tongariro National Park to hike the Northern Circuit. This track is one of New Zealand’s great walks (I’ve got one more to complete!). The Northern Circuit starts and ends in Whakapapa and encompasses much of the (more popular) Tongariro Crossing.
Our journey started with blue skies, but quickly deteriorated into a major storm with gusts recorded of 160km/hr. We weren’t properly prepared and made the difficult decision to turn back.
The money shot overlooking the Tama Lakes and Mt. Ruapehu
Four weeks later and we returned, this time completing the full circuit (braving 95km/hr winds this time!)
Near the “Red Crater”. Good fumarole action here and a strong smell of SO2.
Mt. Ngauruhoe. I have summited this mountain many times, with two descents to the crater floor.
Bonus news: Ruapehu, an active stratovolcano within the park, is in a state of unrest with CO2 emissions at 2290 tonnes/day, one of the largest values recorded in recent years. Volcanic seismic tremor remains at moderate levels.