|No 12 Railway Cottage|
Tongariro National Park lies south west of Lake Taupo in the middle of North Island and is an active volcanic region. In winter it's a great skiing area and in summer thousands of people come to attempt the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which has become known as New Zealand's finest one-day hike (some superlative in a country full of wonderful hiking tracks). Good weather is vital for the Crossing, which peaks at 1850m altitude, so we decided that Wednesday would be our day to attempt it and that we'd hire mountain bikes on the Tuesday.
Irene, Damian and Graham took the brave pills to ride 'The 42', a 44km route that's described as 'demanding'. Actually, Irene told us that it was 'mostly downhill' so the profile map at the start of it came as a bit of a shock:
|Mostly downhill, huh? What about those uphill bits, Irene?!|
|At the start, no turning back now as the van & trailer departs|
|Graham on one of the river crossings|
Meanwhile, the Sensible Crew (Lionel, Dianne and Kerry) decided it was more important to have arms and legs in one piece ready for the following day so did the slightly less demanding but wonderfully scenic Fishers Track, which took about three hours to complete.
|This really was mostly downhill!|
|A driftwood sculpture by a British artist at the end of the trail|