Today we woke up to wall-to-wall blue sky and our first view of the top of Ngauruhoe (seems to be pronounced locally as Nora-Hooey), the local shapely volcano.
On such a nice day we decided to walk Mount Tongariro, a local big peak with great views from the top on a good day. This also gave me the chance to retake shots that I took on Thursday on the Tongariro Crossing but in the sun. We retraced our tracks as far as Red Crater (yes it really is red but with quite a bit of snow at the moment). From Red Crater we made our way up to Tongariro summit. What a great little peak, just under 2000m. Lots of snow on the top.
The light was good too. Still a lot of snow near the summit, steep snow slopes to reach the top of the ridge. Then along to the summit. Great views to Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu with snow in the foreground.
Retraced our route to return to the car, re-took a few shots with different light.
On the summit we met Stuart, a guide who runs Adrift trips. Had a few words but he soon moved off with his group. Back in the car park we met him again waiting for one of his groups to return. He needed some promo shots of the Whanganui River and offered all 4 of us a free day canoeing down the river tomorrow in return for some images. Not sure my back or camera would survive such a trip but would have been nice to accept. Seems like a very nice man!
Tomorrow we leave Tongariro Chateau after 4 days and head for the Wellington Ibis for a complete contrast to the pampering we have received here. Monday I drop off my films in Wellington before catching the ferry to the South Island.