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New Zealand’s Best Hike | Tongariro Alpine Crossing Travel Vlog

New Zealand’s Best Hike | Tongariro Alpine Crossing Travel Vlog


I forgot the sandwiches. You’re lying. I’m not lying. No. That was your one food job. Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to the channel. I’m Alex aka AlexTheVagabond. It’s a a little bit nippy this morning It’s 7:23am. So today we have a pretty epic hike. 19.4 km.. 750 meter elevation gain. descent on the other side. We’ll be going through an extremely volcanic landscape. As we get through the day, I’ll be letting you guys know a bit more about the history of the park the cultural history and the significance to the Maori people and a couple more facts about the hike. It’s going to be a really fun, really long day. Wow..the sun is just starting to crest over the fog bank behind us. And you can see one of the volcanoes in the background. I think that’s Ngauruhoe conical-shaped volcano, but this is insane. You can just see there’s this huge fog bank, and then the light is just slowly creeping in. It’s absolutely beautiful. We’re walking right now through.. kind of like a tussock, sort of just this high alpine scrub and lichen and little bushes. Lots of purple flowers. I don’t know what they are, but they’re beautiful. If you do know what they are, please add that in the comment section. But it’s a beautiful morning. It’s going to be a beautiful day. We got into town late last night, so we didn’t get to go to a proper grocery store, but we went into a gas station and found a lot of power bars. There’s also sandwiches.. like already packed sandwiches. So we have those in the backpack. We… I forgot the sandwiches. You’re lying. I’m not lying. No. that was your one food job. I brought apples. You’re joking, right? I’m not joking Right after I filmed that clip about being over-prepared instead of underprepared and all of our sandwiches…. We have all the rest of food. I forgot the sandwiches. Give me a break. Things happen though, and sometimes we do forget things. That is why being over-prepared is important because we are over prepared. We didn’t only buy the sandwiches, we have lots of other options so we’ll be okay. Over here behind me is Ngauruhoe. Ngauruhoe is only around 2500 years old. It’s the youngest volcano of the three. The other two have been around for around 30,000 years, and they’re the southernmost mountains where volcanoes in a string of volcanoes that go right up the center of the North Island and end up in the Bay of Plenty. The last eruption took place in 1975 and one of the longest ones was in 1954, eleven months of continuous eruption. So right now we’re at the base of Ngauruhoe. You may recognize it if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan. Peter Jackson chose this mountain to be Mount Doom in Mordor and you can see just like all of the remnants of pyroclastic flows and lava. Volcanoes are some of the most interesting geological features that we have on this planet. We kind of forget that we are sitting atop a giant molten rock core in the middle of this planet. So it’s cool to see places that are geologically active because it really just shows what is happening on our planet on a larger scale. But right now behind me with the light, the morning light, coming down you can really see how active this volcano is. It’s really beautiful. All right, well we’ve made it to Soda Springs. It’s about five kilometers in. The real ascent begins now. We’re right at the base of Mount Ngauruhoe, Ngauruhoe, difficult one to pronounce. Lots of stairs, lots of switchbacks. How are you feeling? I can definitely feel the altitude. I feel good though. I’m not tired, but I can definitely feel it. It makes your breathing a little bit shorter and yeah, just kind of makes you want to kind of like take it steady instead of trekking up super quickly ’cause you can feel it enhance as you climb. All these valleys are essentially just like shoots where pyroclastic flows, gas, rock from eruptions would come pummeling down here. Good luck escaping a pyroclastic flow. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Pompeii. But that was a pyroclastic flow. It essentially just froze everybody in time. But yeah, that’s what we’re hiking along right now. All this rock was put here in 1975 when the volcano exploded. There’s a big cloud of gas, rock, and ash came ripping down the mountainside and made the rough rock that were walking along now. So now that we’re at the top a plateau between the two volcanoes, I think it’s time to talk a little bit about the mythology behind this place. So these volcanoes are considered “tapu'” or sacred by the Maori people, and there’s a really interesting kind of creation myth attached to this place. Back in the day a high priest called Naga Toro Irani was in the region and he wanted to claim this high volcanic plateau for his people- the area around Lake Taupo. To get a better lay of the land, he decided to climb to the peak behind me, and when he got to the top, a snow storm whipped up out of nowhere and being a Pacific Islander he had never really experienced snow before. So he was worried for his life and he called upon his other high priestesses up in the Bay of Plenty area to send him warmth. They did that, but they did it in a creative way. They sent fire from the ground essentially a volcanic eruption, which created the crater back here and saved his life and claimed this place for his people. Tongariro was the first national park in New Zealand. It was made a national park in 1887 when the local chieftain of the Maori tribe essentially realized that the best way to protect this place was to offer it as a gift to the Crown and asked for it to be protected so they did turn it into a national park. It was the first one here in New Zealand and it steadily grew in size from that initial gift to encompass almost 800 square kilometers now. This is definitely one of the most popular national parks in New Zealand, especially because you can do this beautiful hike in a day, but definitely when you come here, be respectful. Remember that this place is “tapu.” It is sacred, still. Pack in whatever you pack out. Be respectful. Do not leave trash or defecate on the trail. And just generally be respectful because this is a sacred place. We’re at 1,800 meters here, which may not sound like much, but is one of the highest mountains on the North Island, and we made it. Epic. We just got to the tippy-top. I believe this is the highest point that we’ll be at on this trek. This view is unreal. The wind is much stronger up here. If you look that way you can actually see a bunch of people crossing, and it’s I don’t know… It just looks like such a trek but now we go downhill from here on out, which will be really nice. This view was worth all of it so far. Wow, we have made it to the top. Just climbed Red Crater Ridge and we’re up here at around 1,800 meters. We have Ngauruhoe in the background. I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right. I’m doing my best, but it’s really beautiful. We’re on this ridge line, and on either side just these huge like volcanic calderas. All the soil is like this dark rich red from oxidization of the iron and the soil, and it’s just really rad. I mean, there’s not too many landscapes like this in earth where we have this beautiful day… views stretching to the horizon, the clouds over there, there’s a big sea of clouds and it’s been a hike but definitely, definitely worth it. So right on the other side of the peak, we begin the long slow slippery descent down what is essentially just volcanic dust and rock, but it’s deep and it’s slippery. You need to be really, really careful. I’m seeing people in Converse just straight up sliding down this mountain face. Just if you come and do this, be prepared because it’s no walk in the park. Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s now around 2:00 in the afternoon. So we’ve been walking since 7:30 a.m, and we’re finally on the far side of the crossing. We’re descending. We’ve made it out of the volcanic plateau area. So we’re kind of starting to come back into that tussock. But it’s beautiful. We’ve got a view of Lake Taupo out there in the distance. It’s cool. You can still see edges of the volcano. lots of steam off there in the corner, and you can still actually smell the sulfur in the air. I’ve got a couple kilometers in front of us before we make our way down and successfully complete the Tongariro Crossing. We’ve got about five kilometers more descending, but we finally made it down to the treeline. And it’s pretty cool. We’re right on the edge of this high alpine tussock and right where the trees and that Alpine environment meet. It’s insane the first trees that you see are these tiny little stunted almost like pygmy or dwarf trees and it’s just really cool to see. There’s like baby ferns baby trees because you know up here, it’s hard for trees to survive. But the farther down we go, we’re going to dip down into this forest, and it should be really rad. Oh my goodness, we made it. Wow that was a day. That was a very long day, a very awesome day, tons to see, lots of elevation gain. I looked at my phone actually and boom! So the Tongariro Crossing 14.9 miles/ 33071 steps, 185 floors climbed. It was a mission. It was really awesome. Some of the most unique scenery I’ve ever seen. Lots of people, but overall it was really awesome. Definitely one of the coolest and hardest day hikes I’ve ever done in my life. I think if you are going to do the Tongariro Crossing, definitely be prepared. On that note, I’m going to be doing kind of a debrief video where I share all of the things that I learned from doing it, all the things I think you should have or be prepared for before undertaking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. I’m going to be doing that over on my personal YouTube channel, AlexTheVagabond, so if you haven’t subscribed to that, go ahead and do that. If you enjoyed this video you know what to do Please give it a big thumbs up, share it with you friends hit that subscribe and turn on notifications if you haven’t already And stay tuned there will be a couple more videos coming at you From New Zealand. From this trip to New Zealand It’s been a fun day. I’m going to go sit in a hot spring somewhere and then I’m going to stuff my face with pasta and have an ice cold beer because I think I earned all those things Actually I know I did because the Tongariro Alpine Crossing has been completed.

100 thoughts on “New Zealand’s Best Hike | Tongariro Alpine Crossing Travel Vlog”

  1. Love all these travel vlogs! Just got back from 3 months in Europe and I’m starting to document it on YouTube because it was amazing!! We actually visited Pompei and visited the ruins. Keep up the great work!

  2. You guys are such an inspiration for all the you tubers and thank you for inspiring and also bringing a useful information.

  3. Ah we did this hike a few years ago, such an amazing adventure! That end part though, the decent is much further than you think it is

  4. So how is your experience different now when travelling compared to when you travelled with your brother for so many years…besides the obvious advantages of travelling with your gf haha

  5. Hi, thanks for the video ? Check Kamchatka – Russia. It's a volcanoes area in Russia. The views there are incredible. Like it's not on Earth ?

  6. My husband and I did this hike in last November. We were waiting for this video since last week….

  7. New subscriber here! Just found you recently and have been binge watching your videos starting with your 6 part series on Quebec my home province and thought you did an awesome job. It’s amazing how much you can learn about your own home town through a visitor’s eyes. Your videos are so well filmed, edited and informative and I love the relationship between you and Marko and now Carrie! I want to book a trip to each place you’ve visited after I’ve watched the video. This video was very interesting as New Zealand has been on the bucket list for a long time. I will look forward to many more wonderful videos!

  8. I have lived in this country for more than 12 years now and I have yet to do this! After watching this video, I will get my whole family to do it soon! Can't wait for your debrief video and will put first item on the things to bring list now: sandwich it is! ? This is so awesome!

  9. Those purple flowers only bloom a 100 years once .u guys are blessed to see this .love from Australia ??

  10. You pronounced Ngauruhoe so well to start with and then kept changing it ? so nice to see NZ in your videos and love that you give history and information along the way.

  11. Hi guys, have been following your channel the last few years. Awesome to finally see you travel my own county!
    Mt Ngauruhoe is pronounced Naa-eww-roo-hoe-ee
    Lots of love, Jade , Auckland NZ

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  13. Hey could you please tell me how you attached your peak design camera holding thing to the shoulder strap of your backpack? Because if I am not wrong your shoulder strap is much too wide for this thing. I am asking because I have this problem with my hiking backpack.
    Thanks in advance:) love your channel!!!

  14. Nicely filmed & great info. If you have time consider a side trip up to Mt Tongariro. Other interesting facts – Mt Ngauruhoe is Mt Tongariro's parasitic strata volcano and the Emerald Lakes are Craters too! Hiking boots, gaiters and hiking poles help heaps to negotiate the slippery slope towards the Emerald Lakes. The TAC is one of New Zealand's best day hikes, along with the Summit hike to Mt Ruapehu. NZ has some spectacular formatted multi-day hikes too. Ciao.

  15. Use to go to Tongariro a fair bit when I use to live in Auckland and that was when one could stay at Ketetahi hut. Before it got damaged in 2012 from the Te Mari . Can remember seeing the odd person hear and there

  16. Hey boys, I mentioned you in one of my recent articles. You can check it out here if you’re interested! https://www.travelcurb.com/blog/10-travel-vloggers-you-should-be-watching

  17. The longest hike I've done was ~13-miles.. the one you two just did was more strenuous and makes for a great memory/adventure! Well done! Definitely, a hearty meal and recuperating in a hot springs or even just a nice hot bath, is more than well deserved!

  18. Tongariro is one of the best parts of the Te Araroa thru-hike.
    The Te Araroa is on my bucket list. Planning to tackle it in a few years.

  19. Great vid, beautiful location. Glad you've emphasised the need to be prepared and respect the land. The weather on the crossing can change in a minute and go from sunny to snow so you do have to be prepared!

  20. I‘ve done the crossing in 2012 and I‘ve done been hiking before that. It was hard but I survived and it was so worth it.

  21. I completed the Tongariro crossing on Easter weekend and it was the busiest day with 4000 people. Although it was packed, we had perfect weather. It’s nice seeing what it’s like on a quieter day. ?

  22. You might enjoy White Island – that really is an active volcano with an 'otherworldly' landscape. You can do a day trip (by boat) from from Whakatane. Fully recommended!

  23. there are so many beautiful shots in this video! for example 11:20 and 12:35 i would probably hang on a wall in my place! let me know if you have photographs like these in your shop :).

  24. Converse? Reminded me of one wet May when I was canoeing backcountry in Algonquin Park, Canada. Watched as these young Asian students attempted to portage over rugged terrain wearing only flip flops. Ya, that's an awesome way to snap an ankle.?

  25. Nature looks absolutely insane!!! Volcano views are extraterrestrial!!! Wow!!! Thank you guys for the video!

  26. Suuuch a beautiful landscape! We are also here in New Zealand and traveled for 7 months with our van! ???? We missed this hike because of illness but we have to do this hike one time ☝??

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  28. would love to see New Zealand, but to get me on an airplane, good luck with that. you would have to drug me and knock me out lol

  29. This makes me excited for my trip to NZ in a few months. Definitely looking forward to this hike! Thanks for sharing

  30. Really loved this video! NZ is awesome and your commentary was really great – loved getting bits of info about the place. Also really appreciated how respectful you were of the area, good stuff my friend!

  31. Hey Bros…it's a great video…
    Why don't you come to Kerala , India? It's known as God's own country…really beautiful… Just type on Google …you will come to know that.

  32. Awesome you have come to NZ!! I have skied Ruapehu so many times, but never done the walk around. The purple flowers are a Heather, yes they are pretty.

  33. Thanks for the message of being prepared, the weather can change here in an instant and lots of people rip up their feet walking the crossing in jandals. Once I did the crossing in April and the weather was nice until we reached the top of the devils staircase and the platue where the visibility dropped to around 10m, the wind picked up and it began to sleet. We hid under a rock for shelter and got all our wet weather gear on then hightailed it back down the devils staircase to the carpark. Don't take any risks no matter how good you think you are, you'd be surprised how many call outs Land SAR gets from the crossing from unprepared trampers in over their head.

  34. Hi, when did you do this hike? I was hiking on 27 Apr (Sat) and the weather was so bad. There was no views ? Thanks for sharing this video =D

  35. Okay this is reallyyyy making me want to go to NZ. Had no idea the terrain was so diverse. Thanks for sharing!

  36. I did this walk with my mum. Like a
    couple of weeks ago it was really cool but very tiring.?

  37. I am Ngati Tuwharetoa descent and my family home is only 30 minutes drive from here. Our history differs for these mountains. As a punishment for helping our neighbour tribes and fighting the British during land wars the NZ government annexed these lands. If we refused then they were going to claim all our ancestral land around Taupo also. What is one to do. The govt has since paid reparation in money but we are still custodians and watch from afar unless we need to object. Nice trek also. Isn’t that lake Rotoira, I don’t think Taupo was that close. That is where the Haka “Ka Mate, Ka Mate” was composed. Did you go there at all?

  38. I once saw a lone guy hiking this in a full suit and dress shoes (no other gear or hydration). Just like he was walking home from the office or doing the walk of shame. Still think about it now..

  39. I love to travel with my boy friend we are planing to travel in an rv when we have enough money have you traveled in the states much USA

  40. Thanks for this video! I really enjoyed your facts and the way you captured the beauty of the hike. We were going to do it but my hubby fell sick, maybe next time. Well done for completing it!!

  41. Thats a big hike especially with a backpack and camera gear minus da sandwiches. Really nicely put together video. Were the lakes hot??

  42. Nice but not New Zealand’s best hike!! If you are going to NZ skip the North Island and do hiking in central Otago

  43. Lived in NZ for a little over a year. Trekked this beaut in the first month and it kicked my ass. Did it again about 10 months later and felt like I wanted to turn around at the end go back over! 🙂 The trick was a fast descent (and probably the fog during the Devil's Stair that masked how much further you had to go so you didn't think about it!)

  44. Love this place! Got hung-up on climbing Mount N in 2015, but I'm back for 3 months from tomorrow, so will be adding this full crossing to my bucket list. Great video. Thank You !

  45. Remembering to bring the sandwiches on my next hiking trips has been duly noted! ???

    Check out my first couple videos on youtube as well, I would love your feedback!! 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvJL4xlqJ0M&t=11s

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