“Catch a whiff of Rotorua’s sulphur-rich air and you’ve already had an introduction to NZ’s most dynamic geothermal area. The Māori revered this place, naming one of the most spectacular springs Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters). Today 34% of the population is Māori, with cultural performances and traditional hāngi (steam-cooked banquets) as big an attraction as the landscape itself.” – Lonely Planet
Taupo and Rotorua
As a die hard Lord of the Rings fan, it was epic just being in the presence of this mountain. I visited in September which meant there was still a fair bit of snow and required both crampons and a guide.
Climbing Mount Doom: Mount Ngauruhoe and Tongariro Crossing:
- Open all year but it is required to go with a guide during the colder months for safety reasons
- Mount Ngauruhoe is actually a separate detour hike you can do during the Tongariro crossing. This can also sometimes be closed due to weather conditions in the snowier months
- The peak of Mount Ngauruhoe is sacred Maori land and while it isn’t forbidden to summit, it is considered disrespectful to the Maori people
- A Guide to the Tongariro Crossing and Climbing Mount Doom
- Hiking up Middle-earth’s Mount Doom
2 -3 days in each. We stayed in Taupo the whole time and drove into Rotorua twice because it allowed us to be more flexible in scheduling Tongariro since weather can be an issue in the springtime.