As you might recall from last time (if not, what are you doing reading part 2 first? Go back a post and read that one!), I and five friends were staying in a lake house (or bach) over New Year’s.
On our second full day in the bach (December 30th) we drove out to Tongariro Park to see Taranaki Falls. It’s about a three-hour hike to see the falls, and as it turns out I’d already done this hike once before, in 2014! I was glad to do it again with my friends, though, so off we went.
Tongariro Park is utterly beautiful, with snow-capped mountain peaks and lovely trails. Presiding over the landscape are Mounts Ruapehu (the first photo) and Ngauruhoe. The latter is best known for playing
Gimli Mt. Doom in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies! We shall see more of Ngauruhoe in a later post.
Despite looking a bit Mordor-ish in places (which makes sense, as many Mordor scenes were filmed here), Tongariro has a big variety of terrain, including forest.
These are not Taranaki Falls. But they are some pretty cool falls!
I take a picture of Kali taking a picture of Kate taking a picture of Rob. Chloe and Taylor take pictures of the scenery. Rob is content to stand there and be photographed :)
Ooh, I see some white in the water. I think those cliffs might be relevant to our interests! If only I hadn’t been distracted by Ruapehu and had gotten a proper shot of them!
Ahh, there we go! Yes, these are the falls we came to see!
Based on the activity in the lower left, it appears I was too busy photographing the falls to get my mug in a group shot as taken by Taylor. No regrets.
Funny story about those red shoes of Taylor’s. Apparently when they get wet, the red dye bleeds out onto his feet. He told us that the first time he wore them and they got wet, he took his socks off and momentarily thought his feet were all bloody!
Taylor and Rob walked behind the waterfall and got quite wet. I decided to avoid that fate.
I did, however, manage to catch a rainbow in the falls. I love this shot!
After climbing up to the top of the falls, there seemed to be a competition over who could strike the most vertigo-inducing pose. Here’s Chloe and Kate’s contribution. Don’t get so distracted by the lovely ladies you miss the lovely scenery stretching out in the background :)
Kali and Chloe check out the top of the falls (and more beautiful scenery).
I decided to climb around to the other side of the falls so I could take a group photo of my daring friends. It gave me a good excuse to not dangle over the cliff myself.
For those who don’t want to make the exciting leap over the river above the falls, there’s a nice bridge with a nice view of Ruapehu in the background!
So that’s Taranaki Falls. After having done this hike solo, I have to say that it’s much more pleasant with friends (as most things tend to be).
Next post will cover how we spent New Year’s Eve, which will bring us back to Tongariro for one of the year’s biggest adventures! Stay tuned!