Tongariro National Park and Taranaki

Marokopa Falls

1-week road trip to Tongariro national park and Taranaki with some hiking… Quite a bit of hiking to be fair. We start easy with a visit to Waitomo caves and some of the other curiosities around, such as Marokopa falls. We then head to Tongariro national park and start with a gentle hike to Taranaki Falls, before heading for the ‘classic’ Tongariro crossing the next day with near-perfect weather!

Taranaki Falls

Then, we head to Mt Urchin. It’s a steep climb, but the view on Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhoe, and Mt. Tongariro is well worth the effort.

At the top of Mt Urchin

We then drive through the Forgotten World Highway to Stratford for a first hike on Mt. Taranaki to Dawson falls. We stay a few days in New Plymouth and visit the festival of lights, and have time for a last hike to Pouakai. Again quite a steep climb, but perfect view on the plateau and the sea, and of course on Mt. Taranaki!

Mt Taranaki
Pouakai reflective tarn


Around Auckland, Jan 2020

North head, Devonport

3-week visit from my parents, just in time before the pandemic. We had time to visit a few spots around Auckland, starting with Devonport, right after they stepped out of the plane. This was followed by a day trip to Brick bay and its sculpture trail.

Brick Bay sculpture trail

We also made a few trips to the West coast. We went to Muriwai to see (and smell) the gannet colony and for a walk along the Goldie bush walk to Mokoroa falls. We also went to Piha and the Kitekite falls, as well as Bethell beach and the walk in the river to lake Wainamu.

Goldie bush walk to Mokoroa Falls
On the way to lake Wainamu
Auckland CBD

We also took the time to enjoy the city (Wynyard quarter, Mount Eden, One tree hill), and its wide choice of dinner experiences from all around the world, but also enjoyed a few delicious BBQ on the deck (after all, isn’t it summer?).

BBQ on the deck.

Finally, we took a short trip to Great Barrier Island to enjoy the empty beaches and the view from Hirakimata (Mt Hobson).

Top of Hirakimata, Great Barrier Island