I can now understand Frodo! Although the evil land was in real life a beautiful and peaceful park, it was still quite a challenge to hike it.
Part of our preparation before coming to New Zealand included watching all of the LOTR movies. It was exciting to see where some of the movie was actually shot. One is Tongariro National Park, centrally located on the north island, southwest of Lake Taupo.
The park holds important Maori cultural and spiritual traditions. It also has amazing volcanic features including Ngauruhoe aka Mount Doom.
We loved seeing the “red crater” near the top of the hike. An incredible sight and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Half way done with the grueling hike we stopped at the top of a mountain for lunch. It was very windy and cloudy but after many patient minutes we finally saw the Emerald lakes showing their turquoise blue colors through the clouds. It was wonderful.
We finally made it back after almost seven hours and it was all worth it. I realized that aside from my big feet and cravings for food and beer, I now have even more in common with our little friends, the hobbits. Enjoy the rest of the pictures!