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Our location as of 10/2/2012

Madison, WI, USA
Last updated 10/2/2012
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Hiking Through Mordor

Sickness has struck: when Nikki woke up for the drive to Taupo, she wasn’t feeling very well. Which meant her day in Taupo was largely spent sleeping and trying to recover.

However, I decided to venture out into the hills of Lake Taupo alone, in search of Huka Falls. The gal working at the reception desk strongly suggested I take an hour-long walking tour through town out to Huka Falls, instead of driving. The route looked great on a map–just follow the dotted line along the river. However, the start of the trail was unmarked, so after a half hour walking on what I thought was the trail, I had to backtrack. When I got on the path, there was trash all over the place, it wasn’t really that pretty of a river, and it largely passed by a sewage treatment plant. The trail also made numerous annoying forks, which were not on the map and were not marked. In the end, I gave up and went back to the hostel.

In the end, I gave in and took the car to Huka Falls. The water, infused with bubbles from the fast-moving rapids, was an unnaturally light blue. The falls were spectacular, well worth the trouble of getting there.

Tongariro National ParkThe next morning we left Taupo for Tongariro National Park, which was Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. We decided to take a five hour hike to the Tama Lakes, at the foot of Mt. Ngauruhoe, a.k.a. Mount Doom. Don’t worry, there was no spewing lava or prowling orcs. The scenery for most of the hike was a barren, desert-like land of alpine shrubs, and rolling ridges leading up to the base of the mountains. We saw Taranaki Falls on the way. The mountains were mostly hidden in thick clouds, but managed to come out a couple times during our hike. We were exhausted by the end of the long hike, and glad to be back.

Here are some photos of these couple days. Tongariro National Park is also our first UNESCO World Heritage Site on this trip.

3 comments to Hiking Through Mordor

  • Betsy

    Hope you are feeling better Nikki! We made it through wedding #3! Angie & Adam had a beautiful day and a great time was had by all. Look for some photo’s on facebook! All is well here… Looking forward to October 15th for Krisi and Brian’s big day!

    Talk to you soon!
    Love you guys!
    B

  • Uncle J

    So did you get your camera fixed?

    • No, I bought a new one. It was going to be prohibitively expensive just to get it looked at, and it was going to take 6-8 weeks to get it back. We don’t know where we’ll be in 6-8 weeks. Plus it was old and outdated. So I bought a new one. Even though it’s just in the Rebel product line line it still puts my old 30D to shame. I’ve been very happy with it so far.

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