Yesterday we spent a couple of hours wandering around Auckland taking photos then loaded up and drove to Whakapapa village and our hotel, the Tongariro Chateau.
Mountains were in the clouds but the forecast was reasonable for next day. We decided to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing past 2 volcanoes. We caught a bus from the hotel at 7pm and started by 7.30am. It was dull but dry. We made our way up, not too chilly but no views.
As we made our way up the clouds cleared a bit and it was good enough for photos. Not too many people either. Then we came to the bit where the volcanoes were venting gases (mainly hyrogen sulphide). Jolly smelly (bad eggs smell). There were several flat craters with snow to cross but easy enough. Lots of gases venting near Emerald Lake, which is bright blue and surrounded by gas vents. All the liquid is not water but sulphur. Then up to Blue Lake- totally frozen. Few shots until it brightend later. Nice on walk out. Down to bus shortly after 3pm. Tomorrow we visit some lakes and waterfalls.