We did some changes to the official track when we realised that we could canoe the Whanganui River the whole way from Taumaranui, giving us 8 days on the river. Also, it would it mean missing out on some road sections and bushy tracks and as it was in no way cheating or skipping anything we felt very good about it. We didn’t want to miss out on the Tongariro crossing however so we decided to make it into a day walk.
We got a ride from our campsite to the crossing with a gentleman and his daughter on a small bonding trip in a campervan.
The crossing was really beautiful and so different to all the jungles we had been in so far. It is, after all, a volcano; lava rocks, crater lakes and all. The walk was 6hr long and we only had our day packs on and it felt wonderful.
We were considering climbing up ‘Mount Doom’ too but decided against it as it was a long steep climb. I’m not sure what Frodo was on about because we got there in under 4 hours and we didn’t see any Orcs either. Arthur told me that the Lord of the Rings reference was a very bad joke but I had a little chuckle myself. I mean it was hard not to when a group of guys walked past us playing music from the movie. People always talk about it here, especially from other countries so you get a bit roped in to it.
Normally, it can be very busy on the track and it can put people off sometimes but we were lucky there weren’t too many people there, I could imagine it could get a bit overwhelming. It really looked just like on the postcards. We had a good speed with our fit as legs and no weight on our backs and we talked about our future, both in job terms and relationship. It was a really great day until we nearly didn’t get a hitch back to our camp site in Taumaranui. Luckily, just as I was getting moody we got a ride and it all worked out.