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New Zealand. Day 24. Mt. Taranaki.

We slept the night before the hike at a campsite off of Pembroke Road and drove to Egmount National Park visitor center the morning of the hike. The trail head was right behind the visitor center - an abandoned road that lead to Manganui Lodge - although this segment of the hike was very easy we did gain 1500 feet of elevation. The second part of the hike was from the lodge to the scrambling segment, the trail was well maintained and marked. And the last segment was Class 3 climbing on loose gravel and stone. The summit was a bit hidden, the crater of the volcano appears after the lizard section but the summit is still another 150-200 feet of climbing.



New Zealand. Day 22. Mt. Ngauruhoe [Mt. Doom].

We camped the night before at a campsite off of Mangatepopo Road and the morning of the hike we drove to Mangatepopo Car Park to commence our hike. The majority of the hike was along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - relatively moderate hiking - and the last segment was scrambling on the side of the mountain. The last segment was the toughest part of the hike, I'd label as Class 3 climbing because we were on all four limbs 90% of the time. 



New Zealand. Day 5. Lake Waikaremoana.

3 bridges  //  20 kilometers // a lot of rain

Today is the second day of our hike. We have 20km ahead of us and it's rainy, cold, and we are unprepared. Well, mostly me. I didn't bring any rain or cold protection gear. No jacket, no rain shell, no hoody, and no tights. All I have are 4 dry fit shirts, an extra pair of wool socks, and underwear (a lot of underwear, for some unknown reason...) So, Lauren gave me one of her tights, I wore all of my shirts, and we took off. 

//  Mist in the bush

The first kilometer or so it was very cold and wet, but eventually the rain stopped and our pace picked up. After the initial descent, the hike's difficulty was fairly moderate. There were rolling ups and downs, but the terrain was generally smooth along the lake. 

What I grew up calling 'the woods' is known in New Zealand as 'the bush.' Though, for me, the bush didn't really start until the end of our descent. The hike around the edge of the lake was very grassy and full of bees and wasps. 

//   Through the bush

Crossing our first bridge. There were 5 of these bridges along the hike. Each one was accompanied with a sign that said 3 or 5 person maxium capacity, but of course we just went one at a time. 

//  Lauren crossing the bridge

//  View from the bridge crossing

// View of the lake before arriving at our campsite



New Zealand. Day 6. Lake Waikaremoana.

This was day 3 of our hike, we started our morning by the wood burning stove and next to it's warmth we packed our packs and made coffee. The plan for the day was to hike the last segment of the trail and head to Mt. Doom (Mt. Ngauruhoe).

// Wood burning stove at the hut

// Having coffee and charing our phones

// View of hut from first bridge crossing

// Panaroma of trail and lake

// Signs of the sun filtering through the vegetation

This was the group of hikers we spent our lunch time with at the taxi landing.

// View of the lake from taxi landing

// Lake view from our drop off point

// Stopping point on our way to Mt. Doom

// A scenic point off the high way

// Coming close to sunset

// Mt. Doom in morning light  

// Tongariro National Park at sunrise  

// Street view of Tingariro National Park

// Street view of Tingariro National Park


6 Summits


6 Summits

3 days // 6 summits // 33.6 miles // 12,456 feet of elevation gain

Independence Day weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

// from Mt Cannon

// Kinsman Ridge Trail

// Franconia Ridge Trail

(above) Three circuits of trails that each originated at our campground in Franconia Notch State Park.

// Greenleaf Trail

Even if we had not been camping or hiking in the area, the drive through Franconia Notch Valley via I-93 would have been well worth it. From the Valley, you travel in the shadows of Mounts Flume, Liberty, Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette to the East and Mount Cannon to the West.