Volcanic New Zealand

So after our more general post with all the highlights of our trip, I want to show some more awesome photos about some of the fantastic places we visited! First up is volcanic New Zealand! The North Island is pretty much all volcano and that means unearthly landscapes and smells of rotten eggs :-) NZVolcanic-6We stayed for a couple of nights in Rotorua, a lovely town surrounded by volcanic parks. It was a real adventure exploring the nature around here since it all looks so ancient and the colors are awesome! We visited Waiotapu and Waimangu Valley which both looked like ancient dinosaur country. If I’d draw a dinosaur in this photo you would believe it:NZVolcanic-19right?? ;-)
NZVolcanic-3The puddles there were so hot they are boiling!NZVolcanic-8Only this bird could walk around in the boiling acidic waters:
NZVolcanic-7The colors of the ground were ridiculous!NZVolcanic-16 NZVolcanic-17 NZVolcanic-20And the lakes were just as crazily coloured!NZHighlights-1-8NZhighlights-8NZVolcanic-11O, and the smells…. thick, warm, egg fumes…. NZVolcanic-2Lovely ;-) NZVolcanic-18But we wanted more! We wanted to actually climb a volcano! This one on the right to be more specific:NZVolcanic-21Mount Doom!NZ_Tongariro_Ward5Originally known as Mount Tongariro. This iconic volcano you encounter on the fantastic 1-day hike the “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”, a 20km or 7 hour walk that we ofcourse had to do! NZVolcanic-23The trail takes you along some very nice viewpoints, craters and lakes and it was absolutely awesome!!!NZVolcanic-24 NZVolcanic-22 NZ_Tongariro_Ward6On top was a huuuge yellow-ish crater with mist in it. As if we were on Mars!NZ_Tongariro_Ward2 NZ_Tongariro_Ward3The views were spectacular.NZ_Tongariro_Ward8 NZVolcanic-26Like the moon!NZVolcanic-27 NZVolcanic-29 NZVolcanic-28Again, volcanic lakes that looked beautiful but smelled like warm, rotten eggs hahaNZ_Tongariro_Ward9NZhighlights-17Once you crossed the volcano, you are rewarded with spectacular views of Rotorua and Lake Taupo!!NZhighlights-19
NZVolcanic-30The last part of the walk goes through forests and jungles. It took us about 6,5 hours to complete this walk and I think it was one of the highlights of our whole trip through New Zealand!!NZVolcanic-25Hell yeah we climbed a(nother) volcano!! :-)