Thursday, June 20, 2019

Tongariro National Park

Kia ora, campers, from under the volcanoes. A splendid hour's drive today brought us to a perfect campsite in Whakapapa, right in the middle of the national park. The landscape out the window just kept getting better.

Entering tiny Whakapapa, the drive takes you right past Chateau Tongariro.

Checking in at the campground, you spy this sign. I'll have to investigate when the last eruption was. Lahar is a new word to me.

Note the muster points include the Chateau Tongariro. Our campground is definitely in the flow region just a few blocks away (the cheap seats?). FYI, there's a large loudspeaker next to our campsite--they do take this seriously.

Today we broke camp, drove, set up, and had our first meal here...

Snapper with leeks, bok choy, and red pepper

So, just a short walk on the nearby nature trail.

A river runs through this short hike (actually, Waikere Stream--click here if you can't view vid).

Here's a shot of Art's new all-weather coat, a worthy purchase. One of our readers (hi Heather) asked if we were expecting the cold. Pretty much yes. We were in the foothills of the mountains and are now at 4000 feet. Mountain air is often cold and today's the first day of winter. With that said, though, temps in the rest of NZ are highly variable (50s, 60s F). There are lots of micro-climates here.

Much moisture along the stream, with dozens of life forms attaching themselves to the trees.

All these walks start just steps from our campsite.

Mountain air + sun = warmth and clarity. At night, the wash of the Milky Way is clearly brushed across the sky.

This campground has screamin' Chicago-speed wifi (not every place does) and a beautiful kitchen.

Our driver is also our dishwasher. Thanks, Art...

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