The miserable cold and rainy weather of last night is still in full force this morning. It doesn’t look good for heli-hiking. I figured that I would destroy my budget and take the rare opportunity to go on an absolutely extravagant excursion (as if this trip wasn’t already).
It began this morning in Taupo with a 5 am wakeup call for the bus ride to Tongariro National Park. The bars were still bumping and thumping with New Year’s festivities, but I suited up with cold weather gear, attempting to be prepared for the Tongariro Crossing, billed as New Zealand’s most spectacular one-day walk.
Abel Tasman National Park has golden beaches and water so clear that kayaks in shallow water simply appear to be floating in space. I bask in the sun and climb some of the 57 km of trails that wind and twist through dense trees. I wander beaches and explore tiny side trails.