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North Island Day 10: Flying High

National Park, New Zealand

Last night, whilst chilling by the river we'd managed to ascertain that there wasn't much to do in Taupo apart from kayaking and trout fising. We didn't have our own fishing gear and the tours cost a small fortune so we continued south towards Tongariro National Park, home of three of NZ's volcanos, one of which made an appearance as Mt Doom in The Lord Of The Rings. As you drive in it's all you can do to stop yourself veering off the road as your jaw hits the floor, it was a clear day as we headed in, the mountains looming into view. Mt Ruapehu is on the far right, huge, wide and snow capped, its beautiful. Mt Tongariro, the oldest of the three is on the left and rising up, a charred cone in between the two is Mt Ngauruhoe, better known as Mt Doom.

Scenic flights are on offer in Rotorua but I couldn't afford two and I'd had my little heart set on a flight over Tongariro National Park.

Correct decision.

Mountain Air run three levels of scenic flights in a little fixed wing aircraft with a propeller on the front. We opted for the $145 middle flight which would take us over the Tongariro Crossing which we'd be doing sometime over the next couple of days. It's fucking beautiful. Once Andi had gotten over the fact that she thought the pilot looked too young to be able to fly a plane we were off into the air. The pilot did tell us what was what as we flew over but I was too busy drooling on the window to hear him, I'm pretty sure my greasy little face will remain imprinted on the window of that aircraft for a while.

You can actually climb Mt Ngauruhoe but we'd been told in Taupo that it was a difficult, steep climb and looking at it from the air we couldn't see a single accessible path. It lives up to it's alter ego, Mt Doom. Just on looks alone, even on a sunny day like today you can look at it and imagine it being the setting for the end of the world as we know it.

I reckon I'll cme back here in the winter and fly over it again, just to see what it looks like under a blanket of snow.

Once our 25 minutes was up we continued to National Park village and tried to check into Howard's Lodge but were informed by a fat bloke that we were too early and no, we couldn't just chill there until 2pm and no, he didn't know what we could do for two hours to kill time unless we told him what we wanted to do. Rude fucker. If he didn't have my credit card details we'd have left and found somewhere else, National Park is made entirely of accommodation so I doubt we'd have had too much trouble finding somewhere.

Anyway, once 2 o' clock rolled round he told us that we should probably do the Crossing tomorrow on account of the weather forcast being a bit better than the Saturday. We booked out transport and mentally prepared ourselves as best as you can for a 19km walk.

This was so gonna hurt.

Talking of hurt, you'll also notice the lack of bungee action in this here Taupo post. That would be because Andi went and bottled it, she decided that no way would she be able to throw herself off a bridge so she forfeited the bet and is now officially my Bitch until she flies back to Auckland on the 27th. It also means I get to clog up National Park's drainage system with the small forest in my nether regions via the less painful means of shaving.

And for future reference, if I ever try and make a bet with you whilst under the influence of goon, especially if it involves me potentially waxing any part of my body, please, for the sake of my pain threshold, just confiscate my glass and send me to bed.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on January 22, 2009 from National Park, New Zealand
from the travel blog: Tiny Little NZ Road Trip
tagged RoadTrip, LovinIt and NorthIsland

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hmmm and your weakness was what again? vodka? ahum... ;} *notes down for future reference*

permalink written by  OneTormented on January 28, 2009

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Previous: North Island Day 9: The Road To Taupo Next: North Island Day 11: The Tongariro Crossing

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I live life on the edge.

Provided I'm harnessed to a safety rope and there's a team of trained professionals on hand to make sure I don't fall off.

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