Everybody who has seen The Lord of the Rings knows Mordor with its volcano Mt. Doom. While the volcano in the movie looks slightly different than Mt. Ngauruhoe, a perfectly shaped volcano, it served as inspiration for director Peter Jackson. And many other filming locations for Mordor also lie within this National Park.
For those who have not seen the movie, Tongariro National Park is also known for its beautiful volcanic landscapes and some beautiful multiday treks along the volcanos. One of those is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a one day hike between volcano craters and along beautiful lakes. And another one is a four-day circuit that is quite popular. We met many trampers along the way.
We were really lucky with the weather so far in New Zealand, but the day we spent in Tongariro National Park was the first day with bad weather. It was not really raining a lot, but the clouds were hanging very low and the view to the volcanos was blocked. Only at 6 in the morning I could quickly take a look at Mt. Ngauruhoe, a few hours later it was wrapped in clouds again. In this weather we did not really feel like hiking a full day inside the clouds and potentially rain, so we only went on a short walk to some waterfalls. One of those waterfalls was used in the movie as Gollum’s Pool. The vegetation on the slopes of the volcanoes was very diverse and interesting, so after all even in the cloudy weather we had a nice time at Tongariro National Park.
As the weather forecast for the next days was the same, we decided to move on towards Wellington on the same day.