A long weekend offered an opportunity to get out of Wellington and spend some time in the nature. After a few last minute changes we swapped the originally planned three-days trip with sleeping over in huts for several one-day trips with a stay in a backpacker in Tongariro National Park. The temperatures during nights are already below zero in mountains and our sleeping bags are not really comfortable for these conditions as we discovered during our trip to Mt. Taranaki where we were freezing during night.
We arrived to our backpacker late at night but we could clearly see all three volcanoes covered by snow and rising to the sky full of stars in the moonlight on the horizon.
The next morning we woke up into the cloudy weather and no one would say that there are any mountains out there. However, frightened by the weather forecast saying today was going to be the best out of the next three days, we undertook the trip to Tama Lakes which are located on the mountainside of Mt. Ngaruahoe.
Luckily, it didn’t rain and there was almost no wind which was handy as a part of the track to lakes runs along an exposed ridge. Equipped with food and warm clothes we set of from Whakapapa Village.
After an hour of easy walk we came to Taranaki Falls. This place was much prettier compared to the last time we’d been here and hadn’t seen anything around because of the deep mist.
The next section of track wasn’t too difficult as the path went slightly up and down and we cross a few tiny streams. Occasionally, the wind was blowing a bit more strongly but nothing too bad.
After about two hours we were standing at the edge above the Lower Tama Lake and admiring its beauty. The lake fills explosion crater and is surrounded by bare hillsides. On the nearer side of the lake we could see how small streams meander in the sand and create tangled path before they flow into the lake.
From this point the track started to climb steeply to the view point of the Upper Tama Lake and walking in the brash was more difficult because of snow, ice and stronger wind. Despite these conditions, we met some people who were wearing only running shoes and jeans. That reminded me one of my classmates who was wearing flip flops during our mountain school trip in Greece.
The view from upper point was definitely worth climbing there. From one side we could observe Upper Tama Lake surrounded by lightly snowy slopes and from the other side we could see Lower Tama Lake from different perspective.
It’s a shame though that the volcanoes were hidden in the clouds as they would have made the panorama top class.