Saturday, June 7, 2014


In the centre of the North Island is Tongariro National Park, the oldest of our national parks and a fascinating area to visit. I had an extra reason for my most recent journey there, as one of my characters visits the park in my work-in-progress.

It's a volcanic landscape, with tussock and beech forest, mountains and streams, lakes and waterfalls.

Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ngauruhoe

Taranaki Falls

Wairere Stream

There are multi-day hikes in this area. There are also walks that range from a few minutes to a whole day. The main walk we did on this visit was to and from the Tama Lakes, two old explosion craters.

Lower Tama Lake, Ruapehu in background

Upper Tama Lake, Ngauruhoe in background

My character stays in a rather basic hut, but I was fortunate enough to be staying in the very comfortable hotel that opened in 1930. It's just visible as a white speck below the patch of dark green a little to the right of the centre of this photograph, below taken from the track overlooking the upper Tama Lake:

Journey's end was in sight, albeit at quite some distance. I slept soundly that night.


  1. Oooooh I've been there ... and now I want to go back!!

    1. :)

      I never get tired of visiting this area. There's so much variety, and the landscapes are so interesting.