In the Heart of Mordor: Tongariro – The Lone Wonderer

After the night in Motueka, we went to Nelson to have a breakfast before heading to Picton, where the ferry to go to the North Island and Wellington was waiting for us. We haven’t done much in the New-Zealand’s capital, just hanging out to eat and drink and the next morning, we were on our way to the Tongariro National Park, better know as the iconic Mordor, in the Lord of the Rings saga..

This piece of advice coming from Boromir is probably one of the most accurate I’ve ever received. Indeed the Tongariro Alpine Crossing trail is not easy and takes several hours: The track is 19.4km (12.1mi) long and the highest point culminates at 1.886 meters (6188ft). Getting to the top and coming back took us easily 6 hours.

You better take some water with you before going on the trail, because it cannot be found nowhere there. There is some springs and waterfall but it is not really recommended to drink from it as it is exposed to volcanic stone.

As a big fan of Lord of the Rings, seeing the Mt. Doom (the real name is Mt Ngauruhoe) from this close was a huge source of excitement for me. Climbing Mt. Ngauruhoe is extremely hazardous, it can take very long too. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do both the trek and the climb, so I just took pictures of  Mt. Ngauruhoe and enjoyed the view.

I cannot help but thinking that millenniums ago, armies of orks and uruk-hai were gathering and living in these fields before they lost the battle again the armies of Rohan. Now there is nothing left from them. Not even the Black Gate…Never forget. 

Getting to the top of the track is not easy but I didn’t make such a big deal about it like Frodo. Especially since I’ve done that without eating under a heavy sun during summer, while he did it at night, eating some elvish bread. And he didn’t even take pictures to share the view with his friends back in the Shire..(If you think these Lord of the Rings references are annoying you better be ready, I am not done yet.)

Emerald Lakes
Red Crater

After almost 4 hours and slipping on almost every single pebble I was walking on, we made it to the top and this is the show that was offered to us. I didn’t get any closer to it, but you can see on the picture on the left the emerald lakes. I let you guess why it is called like this. The picture on the right is the red crater summit. This is the highest point of the whole track. It was not busy when we went there so what I’ve enjoyed the most was the silence reigning in the summit. The only missing thing to make the whole experience perfect would have a been to have a cold one.

Mordor  was on my bucket-list, and visiting it was a long time childhood dream. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any ring to throw in the fire of Mt Doom, so we just went back to our car and drove to Taupo to spend the night there.

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