“Don’t go up Mt Doom, it’s called Mt Doom for a reason” — overheard
from tourist bus driver at the Mangatepopo Car Park.
We made the most of the long weekend (
Ngauruhoe is an active volcano, complete with steam vents, and at 2291m is the highest peak in the Tongariro volcanic area. However, its biggest call to fame is being the volcano depicted as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. Not surprisingly The Tongariro Crossing track has become a popular trek for visitors making a pilgrimage to Mt Doom, and on our journey we overheard exciting tales of Frodo, Gandalf, and Sam, as the big grey mountain was looming ahead of us.
All up, it was a brilliant day, and compared to Mt Taranaki/Egmont, a relatively easy and safe climb. An awesome walk, complete with streams, waterfalls, patches of snow, steam vents, and spectacular views over the Tongariro crater and crater lakes. The best part though, is coming down – the mountain is mostly scree, and with a good pair of gaitors you can charge down the bottom, feeling like your’e floating most of the way.
View photos here