Tongariro Crossing: Day 11


For my backpacking trip around New Zealand there were two things that I promised myself I will do no matter what. You already read about my courageous skydive, next stop was the Tongariro Crossing. My fellow Kiwi Experience backpackers were mostly interested where they would find the cheapest booze, but I was more keen on finishing my Alchemist and reaching most of the Lord of the Rings filming spots, isn’t New Zealand all about that? For the adventuureee! 😉

As I said, my fellow backpackers were a big party bunch and sleeping in a shared bedroom was also quite an adventure. I had to go to bed early, because we had an early start for the crossing (6am), but when everyone finally settled in their squeaky beds it was 2am already. Yay 4 hours of sleep for me, but expectations were to big to be bothered being frustrated.

We took a guided tour to the National park, due to the winter here that can make the weather conditions very unpredictable  up there. A shuttle bus picked us up at our hostels, the guides geared up everyone who were dressed like they’re going to the beach and we were off.

I was keeping up the pace with the fastest guide, but when I was confronted with the magical Tongariro scenery, my camera was guilty for making me  a bit slow. The hike was about 19km long and I finished it in around 6-7 hours. The hardest were not the devils stairs, but the last 5km! I did it without any blisters, without eating any junk food. I fuelled up with my healthy risotto and getting all of the pretty pictures with a bit of dirt in my lens (dammit!).

It was incredible, majestical and unforgettable. The next backpacking trip is definitely happening in summer, when we could plan the great nine New Zealand walks and camp in this beautiful nature.

I tried to share my experience of the Tongariro Crossing by putting it into words, but in the end all I can say is it’s a ‘New Zealand must do’. Even for the ‘less’ athletic ones. I promise, it’s a experience you’ll never forget!


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