The Tongariro Alpine Crossing right in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island is a World Heritage Site that’s arguably the best hiking trail in the country. It stretches for 19.4 kms. passing through Tongariro National Park ringed with three active volcanoes one of which (Mt. Ngauruhoe) gained fame in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as Mount Doom and takes from 6-8 hours from end-to-end depending on how fit you are.

Mount Ngauruhoe viewed from our hotel balcony. This is Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings fame
The drop-off point at the car park in Mangatepopo which is also the entrance to the trail.
The drop-off point at the car park in Mangatepopo which is also the entrance to the trail.
At the start of the almost 20km. walk where we were hoping the weather would get better.
At the start of the almost 20km. walk where we were hoping the weather would get better.

We attempted it right on Christmas Day leaving the entry point in Mangatepopo at 8:00 o’clock on a chilly and cloudy morning. You have to arrange for a shuttle from your hotel to drop…

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