(yes, both Amy and I have basically made the same joke)
We drove up from Wellington via Palmerston North, which houses the New Zealand rugby museum. This is a relatively small but well curated set of memorabilia from a century and a half of rugby. If it has a slight tendency to forget that other countries play rugby and occasionally not against New Zealand, we’ll forgive them that.
We stayed overnight at the Sportsmans Lodge in Turangi. This is the self – proclaimed Trout capital of the world and the was many a photo of a grinning fisherman on the wall. We ignored this and got up early to head to the Tongariro Alpine crossing. This is one of New Zealand’s great walks, a 6-hour tramp up and over a pass between volcanoes. The scenery is extremely varied, from scrub at the start through a rocky Mars – scape past Mount Doom.
From the top, an infernal smell greets your view of stunning turquoise lakes. We wound or way quickly upwind of them before stopping for lunch. From there it’s a hustle through an active volcanic region before finishing through a long, winding forest. Really quite stunning.