This was my wife's first introduction to the Tongariro crossing . We didn't do the whole walk [19km] but rather waked halfway [ emerald lakes] and back again. The first half of the walk is where most of the scenery is anyway though I do advise doing the entire walk at least once.
It was a good day - though be very wary because the weather can change quickly on Tongariro as it is an alpine environment. While we were resting at one spot I heard a young couple discussing whether perhaps they had 'overdone' their gear that they had brought with - because there were more than a few 'not so well prepared' on the walk. I went over to them and told them they had exactly the right amount of gear with them as people have died up there due to not being properly prepared - the weather can change very quickly !
I had my 10.5mm lens on my Nikon for this trip.
At the base of the first real climb , about an hour into the walk is where people line up to a little but very important building that is chained down to prevent being blown away by the occasional strong winds
What used to be known as "The devil's staircase" has been made quite a bit easier due to a new path that was built.
At the top of the first climb we had to put on warm gear and rain protection - the weather had changed quickly !
As a side trip you could climb Ngauruhoe , about 1 1/2 hours one way .
Some serious photographers do the trip as well , this one was doing a news report on it :)
This is the first crater you cross .
And the view at the other side ...
Looking back at the crater ...
Looking down at the emerald lakes ....
Some more from the 10.5 lens ....
And some from the Panasonic compact .
The ground was actually steaming on the crater.
The Tongariro crossing - my favorite "playground" in New Zealand but please go prepared for the worst weather !