17 Jan 2019 - 18 Jan 2019
2 guests - 1 room
The filming site for Mordor and Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings: The park’s environment practically screamed Middle Earth, and I found myself wondering if Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, or Viggo Mortensen had walked the same ground I was. I could just see the dwarves and hobbits scrambling along, preparing for battle or wearily approaching the mountain to destroy Gollum’s beloved precious. Black, oddly shaped volcanic rocks littered the valley floor, marking eruption landing zones. At the foothills of rugged, craggy cliffs ran a creek stained red from active minerals. Odd plants sprouted from spongy soil, lining the crooked and uneven path that, on occasion, ran only a foot wide along a cliffside. Dizzying steps up a steep mountainside led to yet another plateau, where the brave of heart can choose to tackle Mount Doom. Loose gravel, slip and silt, tumbling volcanic rocks, and a steep incline has you going up two feet and down one (and that's just the climb up - coming down is worse.) Climb it if you can: it's one of the most difficult, nerve-wracking, and rewarding things I've ever done.
Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's oldest national park and a must-do while visiting the North Island. You will find volcanic peaks, emerald lakes, and really amazing views. The Tongariro Crossing is the most popular one-day "tramp" in the country. About 12 miles long, the hike is completely exhausting, but well worth it. Prepare for huge climate variations and prearrange transportation to return you to your starting carpark.
This amazing national park is a hikers delight. So iconic Mount Tongariro, Peter Jackson used it as the stand-in for Mount Doom! Don't be afraid though - this volcano hasn't erupted - for a while.
A unique blend of desert, volcanic cones and acid lakes. This is one of the North Island gems. If you decide to go there, I recommend taking the Tongariro Crossing track rather than the full 3 days round trip.