If you’ve been following our journey, you’d probably know this is our second trip here. Unfortunately, the first trip had to be cut short due to the weather condition, but because mum was so determined to conquer this mountain before she turns 55, we made a trip back just a couple of days after, and to our luck, we couldn’t have asked for a better day this time around!
We left early in the morning from Taupo, drove just over an hour to Whakapapa village. While waiting for the next shuttle, we had our usual big brekkie at the Fergusson cafe.
As you probably already know, the world-famous Tongariro hike is not for the faint-hearted, so with Baby Kyra onboard, I’ve decided to take bub and explore the surroundings of Whakapapa instead, while mum went hiking the northern circuit.
My goal today was to find nice vantage points to take photos. So to plan out our day, the visitor centre was our first stop.
It was still early in the morning, and the roads were pretty empty. Following Bruce Rd all the way up the mountain, the views just took my breath away. Kyra was sound asleep in the car, so I was able to pull over and enjoy a moment of solitude. I remember feeling like I was on top of the world, my heart just broadened, and nothing else mattered.
To be honest, I was gutted not to be able to do the hike. The photos of emerald lake on Instagram had me memorized for so long, and I was so close yet so far. I guess taking the chairlift up the mountain was my consolidation. Although I didn’t think Kyra enjoyed the heights at all.
After all that thrill, bub needed a long nap, so we checked into our hotel. We were staying at Skotel for the night, and having this unobstructed view of Tongariro right on your balcony, was a real treat already.
We revisited some short hikes in the afternoon, but because of time limitation, we skipped those longer walks like the Whakapapanui trail and the Ridge track, those are doable with a baby if you ever visit Whakapapa, they just take a longer to complete.
You can probably tell how disappointed I was to miss out on the northern circuit hike by now. Before dawn, we went for a drive on the gravel road to the starting point of this grand hike. So glad we did, this is as close you get to Mt Tongariro without breaking a sweat! And the day was so beautiful.
It’s amazing what mankind can achieve isn’t it, looking at the top of Mt Tongariro, it’s hard to believe that my mum hiked all the up above the clouds, one step at a time. Late at night, she came back half crippled with purple toes about to fall off of her feet. But it was well worth it, she said. And she came back with these beautiful footage.
Don’t Be A Stranger!
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In the meantime…
What’s your proudest hike?