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Entries in Tongariro (1)


Tongariro National Park- New Zealand 

One of the places that will stay in our memory forever in the December New Zealand trip is Tongariro National park. A place that has majestic volcanos, snow covered mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, scenic views of the plains with clouds moving so fast.. the list goes on!

Here are a few select pictures from this place..

The Taranaki waterfall is simply breathtaking. It takes a 2 hour hike to get there but it was totally worth the effort! The red rocks and the green waters somehow make a soothing combination.

The clouds dashing against the three big mountains in Tongariro national park.

We did not see many animals or birds on a day long hike through Tongariro all the way to Taranaki falls and back. We then proceeded towards the worlds highest working hotel (?!) which was in Whakapapa. Unfortunately the ski lift used to get there was closed. So we got to the base and drank hot chocolate. The views from this place were awesome. 

On the way back to Turangi (where it all starts at a visitor center), the boys decided to go for another hike in the rain to Emerald lake. We thought we were gone for an hour, but it happened to be two and we will never forget the reprimand from the ladies..

The lake was amazing. Crystal clear water, nice beaches, no people, just a hike through a fern forest!

Even this panorama shot doesn't do justice to showing how beautiful this place is!

There were supposed to be more than 20 types of birds in the rain forest.. but I saw one. My BIL maybe saw two.. The pidgeon in New Zealand is 2x the size of the normal pidgeon you see in the US!

By the time we got back to the vehicles after seeing the lake, it started pouring. There was a plan to see the trout feeding outside the visitor center in Turangi, but after we learned that the trout was imported from California, we passed and headed back to Lake Taupo basecamp.

The sunset that welcomed us back at Taupo was out of this world as well. As you can tell, this was going to be the "Happy New Year 2014" greeting card from New Zealand.

We did go to four more places in the North island over the next three days. The way things are going, we may not see those photos processed for a month or two. 

If you go to the North island in New Zealand and are a "National Park" type person, you cannot miss this one. Must see!