A few weeks ago while on the Jungle Journal assignment, we worked with the tourism Ruapehu to shoot a few staples of the region. Mainly, a 20km hike through the volcanic landscape of the Tongariro Crossing which has become a hell of a tourist destination after some guy named “Frodo” decided to throw a ring into one of it’s main attractions Mt.Ngauruhoe. Tourist trap or not, the crossing is a wild landscape that needs to be experienced. Take vibrant mineral infused pools and place them amidst venting craters of red and orange, towering peaks, and pungent musk of sulphur… it’s as close to Mars as any of us will get. That being said, you can’t just go to Mars for 2 days, it’s just not right… It’s rude. You need time to take things in, maybe skip over and give Mercury a gander. But given the schedule our convoy had to roll on. Putting Mt.Doom in the rearview we parted ways but knew we’d be back.
Now fast-forwarding to last week. We had just weathered Crankworks in Rotorua when Mike and Claire the fine folks at Tourism Ruapehu invited Traharn and I back to show us what lies in the woodwork beyond Frodo throw. What was meant to be a short two day excursion turned into one of the best weeks I’ve had in New Zealand. Jungle trails, Volcanoes, Helicopter, Jet Boats, Waterfalls, Rivers, a ridiculously cool Eco Lodge… The place is Insane!
In the shadow of the crossing lies a whole other playground, and it’s better than fiction! Take Jurassic Park and that crazy island King Kong lives, blend them together, substitute all the deadly “hunt your in the dark” creatures for Goats and Boom! You have yourself our destination. Waterfalls peeling into gorges of moss, the Whanganui River bisecting ruggedly lush rainforest, the echoing pitch of songbirds, one seriously interesting trail that transports you through history, and eco-warrior/conservationist/All around good guy Dan Steele.
Knowing that people in general don’t like to read anymore, I’ll leave this post where it lies and expand later. On a closing note, I’ll say life has been functioning on the level of “Unreal!” for quite some time. Loving Life on the Road!
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