Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

smoky ponds
Lagoons and fumaroles at the base of the Tongariro volcano.
A family of Kiwi hikers climbs the trail towards the Tongariro volcano.
ridge glimmer
Top of Mount Ngauruhoe still lightly snowed after the end of southern summer.
Hikers contemplate the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe.
mountains of fire
Sulfuric slopes of the Tongariro volcano.
Property Lagoon
Nook of a lagoon at the foot of the Tongariro volcano.
family achievement
Hikers family about to reach the top of Mount Tongariro.
Ngauruhoe 2291m
A sign indicates Mount Ngauruhoe, with an altitude of 2.291 meters.
defrosted strand
The sun-baked side of Mount Ngauruhoe, virtually snowless.
Family walk
Family walks up the rocky path that leads to the base of Mt Ngauruhoe.
Tufts of Gold
Resilient vegetation grows in tufts on the volcanic soil of the Tongariro National Park.
solar silhouette
Silhouette of one of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park.
A peak at hand to sow
Mount Ngauruhoe and the plaque that identifies it and informs you of the height of 2.291m from the summit.
volcanic mirror
Reflection of the Ngauruhoe volcano in a lagoon in Tongariro.
fire mountain
The Ngauruhoe volcano, reddened by the warmest light of the sunset and highlighted on a plateau in the Volcanoes National Park.
In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.

The guest house manager doesn't have good news for anxious guests: “I'd like to give you better news but things seem complicated.

Even stronger wind is forecast for tomorrow. If confirmed, the rangers close the trail.

Affected by the news and infected by the communal despondency that sets in, we are impressed by the powerful hissing, audible inside despite the building's isolation.

We understand, more and more, the reason for the existence of the Polynesian name attributed by the natives to the domain that we all wanted to cover. “Tonga” meant south wind. “Laughing”, taken. To the detriment of our sins, the weather pattern did not seem willing to let up.

Due to the strength with which it persisted, it made even the mere road discovery of the surrounding scenery risky.

We let this day pass in the comfort of the inn, given over to different online tasks and pleasures, international socializing and cozy drinks. Not to vary, we go to bed late. We have more difficulty than usual in waking up at dawn, but, curious to see what fortune the new day would bring, we ended up forcing ourselves to get up.

We peek through the misted-up window and no longer see the swaying vegetation.

Silhouette Mountain Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

Silhouette of one of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park.

The golden sky remains as clear as ever, but with the relentless wind, so is the dust that had blown away before. We hardly believe in that bounty of the gods Maori. We pack what we have to take in our backpacks and hit the road.

The Meteorological Blessing That Granted PN Tongariro

We arrived at the park entrance in three times. We parked and interpreted the panel with the trail map and other notices. Excited by the enormous significance of that walk, we inaugurated the 20 km of Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

The first few hundred meters are flat, traversed over a wooden walkway, among resistant yellowish bushes. But, at a certain point, the trail gives way to the lava rock and makes its way to the mountains. We surrender to the steaming heart of Te Ika A Maui, the north island of New Zealand.

More than a mere volcano, the Tongariro stronghold consists of a volcanic massif that groups 12 cones around the homonymous hill that reaches 1978 m.

It was ceded by the all-powerful Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino to European settlers in order to appease long-standing conflicts and avoid commercial exploitation of the place, with the sole requirement of respect for indigenous beliefs.

Little by little, we approach its base and the trail turns into a ramp as sinuous as it is painful.

hiking family Ngauruhoe volcanoes PN tongariro new zealand

Family walks up the rocky path that leads to the base of Mt Ngauruhoe.

It elevates us to a brown, semi-snowy plateau and to the proximity of its even higher neighbour, the Ngauruhoe, a colossal secondary cone of Tongariro that has erupted on more than 70 occasions since 1839, but which, unlike the main one, has remained calm.

The Unpredictable Fury of Tongariro Volcanoes

During 2012, there were two powerful eruptions from Mount Tongariro.

The second, at the end of November, six months after the inaugural, forced Professor Lomi Schaumkel and a group of 90 students who were only 1 km from the crater to run, worried as never before for life: “we were very close and it was really awesome and scary to see all the ash being thrown.

summit, mount Ngauruhoe, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Top of Mount Ngauruhoe still lightly snowed after the end of southern summer.

It looked like one of those atomic bomb explosions. It made an impressive underground sound.”

On that occasion, the authorities had to evacuate another 40 to 50 people from the trail as we continued to advance. These were not the only setbacks.

On a much more contained scale than what happened with the counterpart of the Iceland Eyjafjallajokull, the Tongariro eruption also caused the disruption of much of New Zealand's air traffic.

family, hikers, top tongariro, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Hikers family about to reach the top of Mount Tongariro.

Back to the Trails of PN Tongariro, winding between Volcanoes

We find on the slope that wears us out, two or three groups of trampers that recover energy by devouring energy bars and chocolates next to the orientation signs. We join the meal for a few minutes.

Restored, some of those hikers veer off course to conquer the imminent Ngauruhoe. Others, like us, stay on the main track.

Plate Mount Ngauruhoe Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe and the plaque that identifies it and informs you of the height of 2.291m from the summit.

Once the plain is over, a new ascent is announced. The second half of this slope is covered with ice and loose stones that slide. Shortly thereafter, we reached the high, sulphurous domains of Monte Tongariro.

We glimpse, hidden in the shadow, the Red Crater, so called because it is covered with an ocher rock filled with oxidized iron, surrounded by the dark lava released by the various eruptions.

slopes, sulfur, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Sulfuric slopes of the Tongariro volcano.

We access the problematic section of the route, the one that most justified closing the trail if the strong wind had been confirmed.

There, the trek is made along a narrow ridge of the ridge where any oversight could mean dropping many meters into the steaming interior of the crater.

lagoons, fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Lagoons and fumaroles at the base of the Tongariro volcano.

No wind to disturb or excessive tiredness, we proceed smoothly. Until the beginning of the next descent, which we make almost running and half buried in a dusty slope of sand and grey.

The Blue Lake Te Wai-whakaata-o-te Rangihiroa

Halfway down the descent, three lakes are revealed that occupy holes opened by ancient volcanic explosions. The trail continues and arrives at another lake with a bigger dimension and title to match, the Te Wai-whakaata-o-te Rangihiroa, blue lake in the simplified western version.

lagoon, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Nook of a lagoon at the foot of the Tongariro volcano.

We stop at the top of an intermediate slope with a privileged view. We observed the views that were left behind. Below, beyond the lake, extends a lunar surface with a dark scar of lava that stains the yellowish base of a dry bed. We also detected the sharp peak of the Ngauruhoe, detached from the surreal landscape.

Dantesque Scenarios that Illustrated the “Lord of the Rings Saga”

It was in these strangely grandiose panoramas and, in particular, the enigmatic look of Tongariro's sharpest mountains that Peter Jackson was inspired to recreate Mount Doom, the incandescent and feared dwelling in which JRR Tolkien had Sauron forge the mighty Ring One.

Ngauruhoe Mount Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

A sign indicates Mount Ngauruhoe, with an altitude of 2.291 meters.

In the longer shots of the sequel, the black mountain was, however, represented by a large-scale model or a computer-generated image.

Despite already being divided between the good and the bad of the work that passed to the screen, Peter Jackson had to submit to another power, that of secular mythology Maori.

Indigenous New Zealanders believe that the Ngauruhoe volcano was named after Ngatoro-i-rangi, a mythological high priest who colonized Aotearoa (New Zealand). They also believe that Ngatoro-i-rangi summoned to that mountain the fire of his Hawaiki spiritual homeland for the purpose of ending the chill that chilled it and the surrounding realm.

National Park, Tufas, Volcanoes, PN Tongariro, New Zealand

Resilient vegetation grows in tufts on the volcanic soil of the Tongariro National Park.

The volcano has long been taboo. Okay, the bosses Maori they didn't allow it to be filmed. Kiwi director Peter Jackson found alternative solutions in computer-assisted technology and on the slopes of Tongariro's third great volcanic mountain, the farthest and still highest volcano Ruapehu (2797 m).

The lingering controversy over the possession of the Sacred Territory of Tongariro

But neither the respect for ancestral culture nor the resounding success of the saga that promoted New Zealand throughout the world, contributed to resolving the old controversy.

As most indigenous people see it, the passage of sacred territory into the hands of the pakeha (Europeans) resulted from a hasty decision of the boss Te Heuheu Tukino. Today, after nearly 127 years, many Maori remain revolted by the offer.

reddish volcano, Ngauruhoe, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

The Ngauruhoe volcano, reddened by the warmest light of the sunset and highlighted on a plateau in the Volcanoes National Park.

They argue that, by leading only the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe, the chief could not have alienated the mountains in default of the rest of the indigenous nation and claimed in a court in Waitangi, a direct participation in the fate of their mountains of fire.

As we make our way back to the car park, long after the scheduled time, exhausted and half lost in the pitch that has set in, it flashes through our minds what the demonic Sauron would have thought of all this mess.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
by the shadow
Architecture & Design
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
orthodox procession
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
St. Augustine, City of Florida, USA, the Bridge of Lions
Saint Augustine, Florida, USA

Back to the Beginnings of Hispanic Florida

The dissemination of tourist attractions of questionable taste becomes superficial if we take into account the historical depth in question. This is the longest inhabited city in the contiguous US. Ever since Spanish explorers founded it in 1565, St. Augustine resists almost anything.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Chania Crete Greece, Venetian Port
Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania: In the West of Crete's History

Chania was Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman. It got to the present Hellenic nation as the most seductive city in Crete.
Cathedral, Funchal, Madeira
Funchal, Madeira

Portal to a Nearly Tropical Portugal

Madeira is located less than 1000km north of the Tropic of Cancer. And the luxuriant exuberance that earned it the nickname of the garden island of the Atlantic can be seen in every corner of its steep capital.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Glass Bottom Boats, Kabira Bay, Ishigaki
Natural Parks
Ishigaki, Japan

The Exotic Japanese Tropics

Ishigaki is one of the last islands in the stepping stone that stretches between Honshu and Taiwan. Ishigakijima is home to some of the most amazing beaches and coastal scenery in these parts of the Pacific Ocean. More and more Japanese who visit them enjoy them with little or no bathing.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul, Travel Korea, Color Maneuvers
UNESCO World Heritage
Alone, South Korea

A Glimpse of Medieval Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace stands guarded by guardians in silken robes. Together they form a symbol of South Korean identity. Without waiting for it, we ended up finding ourselves in the imperial era of these Asian places.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde, Tarrafal Bay
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde

The Tarrafal of Freedom and Slow Life

The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Dali, China

Chinese Style Flash Mob

The time is set and the place is known. When the music starts playing, a crowd follows the choreography harmoniously until time runs out and everyone returns to their lives.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Cape cross seal colony, cape cross seals, Namibia
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

Diogo Cão landed in this cape of Africa in 1486, installed a pattern and turned around. The immediate coastline to the north and south was German, South African, and finally Namibian. Indifferent to successive transfers of nationality, one of the largest seal colonies in the world has maintained its hold there and animates it with deafening marine barks and endless tantrums.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.