Enjoying the smaller things in the Tongariro National Park

Enjoying the smaller things in the Tongariro National Park
Chateau Tongariro Hotel in  the Whakapapa Village

Whakapapa Village might be easy to miss, if you’re thinking of a real village. This village has just one hotel, an old petrol station converted into a Maori carving workshop and an i-SITE Visitors Information Centre. It’s doesn’t look much, but it’s the main entrance to the Tongariro National Park and the many incredible walking tracks it offers.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best day walks in the world.
Walking the Taranaki Falls loop from Whakapapa Village, the weather was drizzly, but it didn’t deter us.

Whether you have a hiking plan or not, it’s worth going into the i-site visitors centre to learn about the park, the fiery volcanoes and to check the weather .

The Central Plateau is ‘alive.’  Mount Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are all active volcanos.

On the back of a fly-fishing trip we’d planned a day in the park, with lunch at the Chateau Tongaririo Hotel, a beautiful old lady of a hotel and a walk to Taranaki Fall. The loop takes about two hours.

This is the main reception of the Chateau Tongariro. Grand and elegant are the only words to describe it.

Walking over volcanic rock, the beginning of the walk is harsh and barren yet beautiful and  mystical with the rain and mist. Before reaching the falls we knew we were close as we could hear the water thundered over a precipice into the swimming hole below.

This photo does not do the Taranaki Falls justice. They are beautiful and noisy.

As the water cascaded down the mountain, we crossed several bridges as the ice melt from the mountain gushing under us. While the scenery was magnificent what was even more beautiful was the alpine flora that survives such adverse conditions, growing out of rocks with long periods in sub-zero conditions, often buried in snow.

Flora in the park is incredible.
Despite the barren landscape, if  you take the time to look, colour is everywhere.
This flora reminds me of the coral the textures and colour in the ocean.

It’s great to take in the bigger picture, but sometimes there’s just as much beauty in the smaller things. While I’m no botanist it hard not to admire the colour, form, texture and structures of these plants, so next time you’re in the park take a minute to enjoy the small things.

Tiny, tiny pink flowers
Mt Ruapehu

For all information on walks in the Tongariro National Park take a look at this web site; Whakapapa Village

 

Jane Jeffries

Related posts
Leave a reply