The North Island- Part 2

Mt. Taranaki

Okay, so blog Numero Two coming at you from NZ. Yes I know I posted both the first and second together but wifi isn’t easy to come by here guys so I gotta get bang for my buck. I can’t even remember where I left off…oh yes we were headed to volcanoes. We decided to stop at these pools I saw on Pinterest called the “Mermaid Pools.” The directions were less than vague on how to find these pools but we set off anyway. We almost gave up on finding it too because we had been aimlessly roaming for an hour not finding these mystery pools. Andrew started up a steep hill and looked at me as if to say “should we go up?” After two days of mountainous walking I was not keen on climbing up another hill. Bec had the same look on her face as well. A man was coming down the hill so I suggested we ask him what was up there, he could decide for us. He bluntly said in a strong Kiwi accent “It’s the mermaid pool.” Bingo.

Mermaid Pools

After I got my back nicely burnt out there, we headed South. Our first Volcano was Mt Ruapehu. The largest active volcano in New Zealand. We did a crater walk to the most beautiful blue Crater Lake. The guided walk provided us with so much information about the volcano, including how all the mountains got their Maori names. We also visited the Taranaki falls the day before.

Enjoying some “Good to Go” dehydrated Meals. These are seriously the best ones I’ve ever had, you can get them in REI back home.
Bec and Andrew headed to the Crater Lake.
We hit up the other side of the Mountain afterwards.


Taranaki Falls

The next morning was a push. We woke at 1 am to catch sunrise at Red Crater on the Tongariro Crossing. The trail said 4 hours to Red Crater. It took us 2.5 hours. So we got pretty cold as the wind roared. We struggled to make some breakfast behind a rock. Fingers cold the warmth of coffee and oats warmed us temporarily. We decide to keep moving to stay warm. We made it to the Red Crater and still had an hour before sunrise. We sat beside a rock, trying to shelter ourselves. Heat came from the rock, and surprised us. I said, “Is this… warm?” Turns out we were beside a geothermal steaming out of the rock. We got pretty lucky. Sunrise was incredible, an unveiling of the landscape. We played on the crater for the next few hours until a zoo of crowds showed up and we decided to leave.

The Emerald Lakes Sunrise
We wanted to climb this Volcano, but it got too hot and we got too tired, also we had so much more work ahead of us in the coming days.


Looking at Red Crater

We then made our way to Mt. Taranaki and up to the Syme Hut. And up it was. Hundred of stairs and scree to make it to the plateau where the hut lay. Such a difficult climb, but well worth it as we caught sunset. I had a pretty crappy sleep here though. The hut was full and we camped. The wind howled all night keeping me awake. We planned to climb Taranaki in the morning and then stay another night. Of course we can never keep a plan and when we noticed the mountain fairly cloudy we decided to he’d to another hut. Back down and up again, we were very exhausted at this point. Well the pictures can tell you it was worth it.


Sunset at Syme Hut.


That windy night!
Sunrise over the hill at the Pouakai Hut


We kayaked with my Oru-kayak for a bit between the huts. Beautiful River.

Sadly coming off this hike exhaustion kicked in and I miss stepped and sprained my ankle. Rats. Good thing for us though we had a few days to rest and Bec and Andrew had to fly home. All alone now, it should be good for me. See how independent I can really be. I guess we will find out.

3 thoughts on “The North Island- Part 2

    1. Hey Daniel,
      Your photos have been a huge inspiration for my trip to New Zealand so thanks for that! I am going down the West coast with a slight detour to Arthur’s Pass if the weather is permitting. Planning lots of time in Wanaka and the Milford Sounds.


      1. That’s great to hear! 🙂 You will love Wanaka! It’s the most beautiful place and try to hike up to Brewster Hut / Mt Armstrong when you leave the West Coast to Wanaka – the hut is beautiful up there! I’m excited for your photos

        Liked by 1 person

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