June 6, 2017

Where in Tolkien country were our guest bloggers? Day 1: Here's the answer...

The Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Alpine Crossing! 

Photo ©Johnson/Phipps
Natasha and Adrian made the big trek up to the Emerald Lakes, located on The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered to be the most popular one-day Hike in New Zealand (or as the Kiwis say: a one-day tramp). Throughout the entire hike there is astounding volcanic scenery, but the most amazing part of the nearly 20-kilometre hike is the Emerald Lakes.

Take a hike in New Zealand with Sure Travel and Qantas Airways: Call your nearest Sure Travel agent, or click here to find great fares. 

Here's what Adrian had to say about it... 

“World's best one-day hike you say? Once I had heard about this hike I knew it was something that we just had to do. Being the filming location for the apocalyptic Mordor (The Lord of the Rings) made this mission even more appealing.

Photo ©Johnson/Phipps 
These sulphuric blue-hued bodies of water are actually explosion craters formed during volcanic activity that the region is known for. Despite being surrounded by fumaroles and active volcanoes, these bodies of water are actually cold.

Walking in the shadow of the ominous Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom) with its capricious weather and red hued slippery slopes, one almost expects a horde of orcs to come barreling toward you in full battle cry.

The 20km hike is broken up into tracks of varying degrees of difficulty with ever changing scenery. From alpine, to grasslands, to desert, to rainforest, this hike has it all.

One of my highlights was traversing the precarious decent of the Red Crater, an active crater on top of Mount Tongariro. From here you enjoy spectacular views out over the Oturere Valley, Rangipo Desert, Kaimanawa Ranges and down towards the Emerald Lakes. But making your way down loose volcanic rock is a full-on experience!”

 And Natasha's take...

“This is not an easy walk. From super steep inclines to a precipitous descent, there is certainly an element of ‘what am I doing here!?’. 
Photo ©Johnson/Phipps

But once I reached the summit and had my little cry, the moment to take it all in presented the most beautiful colours and textures. From cadmium red craters to aquamarine lakes, my eyes feasted on the vivid imagery of this desolate place. Plus it catered wholly to my Tolkienesque tendencies. Moooooordooooor!”
Follow Natasha and Adrian on Instagram for more of their epic New Zealand trip.
Adrian and Natasha, representing SA on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing                                    Photo ©Johnson/Phipps


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