Climbing Mt Doom (aka Ngauruhoe)


“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 (Auckland anniversary), and took a break from the house work for an invigorating walk up Mt Ngauruhoe in National Park. The most direct route to Ngauruhoe is to take the popular Tongariro Crossing track, starting from Mangatepopo Road, and forking off the track at the red crater. It’s a good day walk and takes about 7 – 8 hours to return to the car-park.

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

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One Response to Climbing Mt Doom (aka Ngauruhoe)

  1. Pingback: Nothern Circuit, Tongariro National Park » Ramblings from Eden Terrace

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