When the spirits need a boost nothing beats the natural high of discovering new parts of the world, and travel blogs are the best places to get inspired.
Travel blogs discuss some really out of the way places and give a fresh take on locations that slip under the tourism radar. Places like the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a hiking trail in the Tongariro National Park in New Zealand. Hikers cross the volcanic landscape of this spectacular mountain route, enjoying great views and the unusual scenery of the central North Island region of New Zealand. It’s not difficult to understand the appeal of this exhilarating foot crossing, rated as one of the best day treks in the world due to its dramatic setting. Completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a huge, fun adventure packed into 12.1 miles of challenging terrain.
Situated in a Dual World Heritage Site, the Tongariro National Park is rich both in terms of its Maori cultural identity and the awe inspiring natural beauty of the volcanic mountain-scape. Making the hike across the alpine terrain has become a popular day escape for intrepid hikers with a taste for adventure. For an added frisson of excitement, walkers are reminded that the active volcano Mount Tongariro last erupted in November 2012, prompting the park managers to re-route the trek slightly.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing takes between six to eight hours to complete and is not suitable for the elderly or children. A certain level of fitness is required as some of the climbs are steep and the altitude makes things feel even more difficult. It isn’t called an Alpine Crossing for nothing! Fresh drinking water, food and waterproof clothing should always be taken on the crossing, as conditions at the summit can be cold, windy and very changeable. Volcanic eruptions, landslides, snow and sudden changes in weather conditions can and do happen, so only attempt the crossing if physically up to the challenge.
So what can trekkers expect to see and do? Well, there is a lot of unique volcanic terrain to traverse, so old lava flows, thermal steam vents and volcanic craters are par for the course. Glacial valleys, native forests and wonderful flora and fauna unique to the area can be spotted en route. Also discover cold mountain springs and The Emerald and Blue Lakes, so called because of their intense color.
The crossing can be completed in both directions, however, most trekkers start at Mangatepopo and head for Ketetahi Hot Springs, this route is easier as the altitude drops from 3,670 ft. to 2,490ft. Due to the popularity of the crossing, plenty of bus and collection services are available at both trailheads to return hikers to their original destination.
For those taking a vacation in New Zealand, this special day trek slots into an itinerary of travel through the North Island. Don’t expect a gentle walk in the park; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain real insight into the interior of this mysterious land of volcanoes, hot springs, mountains, lakes and forests. Get out and meet the challenge of one of the world’s best day walks on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, feel the buzz of achievement and create some amazing memories to look back on.