15th – 19th September 2012

After a few more days spent in Taupo after my superman posing skydive and then followed by a few days in with my cousin who lives here, I was ready to go back on the kiwi experience bus. New bus means new people.

Picked up at the hostel, we were driven around the eastern shores of Lake Taupo and suddenly found ourselves in Mount Doom National Park. Okay, okay, it’s not called that. It’s called Tongariro National Park, which is New Zealand’s oldest national park, one of New Zealand’s three world heritage areas and the forth one created in the world!

Now you may be wondering why I haven’t climbed the damn Mountain already. It’s certainly on my bucket list, but I didn’t. A few weeks ago, the top half of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing got destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Sucks. You could still go the first half to go halfway but it was still at the same price as if you do the whole thing. Nah. Next time I’m in New Zealand when the new track has opened, I’ll do it.

But I was sated with the views of the familiar scenery….a lot of the Lord of the Rings filming took place in this national park. Going on the bush walks, we scaled some cliffs, hills, and marvelled at some waterfalls. Also the 3 large volcanos always hovering in the corner of your eye…I kept expecting Sauron’s tower ei his evil eye to be on one side as well.. The volcanoes are called Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) and Tongariro.

It was a pretty great walk and the weather really shone for us particularly abit had been raining for far too long in the days I was in Taupo. Check out the pics.









After a great morning of this, we hopped back on the bus for an hour’s drive to the remote area of River Valley with its lush green surroundings. Our lodge is in the wop wops (remote area) right next to the Rangitikei River that runs past the front door. Check out the pics.






A combination of adventure, atmosphere, fun, great food, beautiful surroundings and friendly staff ensures you have a great stay. Their roast dinner is absolutely to die for! And get yourself on one of those steep cliff walks. I did until I stumbled upon a gun shooting area…oops. Check out the pics.







In the evening, I hung out with the guys at the BBQ area and played some games. Looking up at the stars that twinkled into the night, I just couldn’t believe I’m finally here in New Zealand!



Now to sleep early as I will be getting sooooooooo wet tomorrow first thing…