Day 12: (Not) walking the Alpine Crossing
Our only full day at Tongariro National Park, and the forecast is basically rain with lots of wind.
Not so great for a 10 hour walk.
We are staying in a place called The Park Traveller’s Lodge, nearly situated in a town called National Park. As you would’ve guessed: the town is very near to the starting point of the walks in Tongariro NP. It also has a train station, aptly called National Park.
The shuttle to the starting point for the Alpine Crossing is from the Lodge and also collects us at the other end of the walk. They only ferry passengers to and from the track on days they think are good days. Unfortunately, today is not deemed a good day.
I would definitely agree with that, as I personally do not like to walk in the rain with gusts up to 75km/h at an altitude of over 1750 metres. The wind chill factor would help to make it feel below freezing. Not very nice indeed.
So, after a few weeks of preparation on our side, especially by Kirsten, the weather has proven to be to much and prevented us from going at all. On the plus side, if we were to go today when there wouldn’t be as much wind, the views would be terrible anyway as the cloud cover sits neatly well below the top of the mountains. In fact, there is about 500 metres of cloud to to the top.
Today, we decided to do small walks instead of the large walk. Which meant we hiked through low alpine fields, a small forest and much more in high winds, horizontal rain and through the clouds. The views of the waterfalls were good though, and we petty much appreciated not walking for ten hours straight through this weather.
Maybe next time.
Tomorrow, we are leaving Tongariro NP for Wellington and the preparations of leaving the North Island.
Let’s see what the capitol of this country has to offer!