Mt Tarawera: Awesome Tongariro Crossing Alternative – Day 291
Hiking on Mt Tarawera.
Today we are hiking around the amazing volcanic landscapes of Mt Tarawera. If you like this video and want more NZ inspiration then check out our epic 365 Days: 365 Activities over on YouTube & Subscribe!
Today we’re going to be running into a volcanic crater.
This morning we are joining Kayla and Lindsay from Kaitiaki Adventures to go up probably the biggest volcanic feature of the Rotorua area and that’s Mt Tarawera.
And the journey to get to Mt Tarawera is an adventure in itself. Oh my God this road is absolutely chaotic luckily we have a four wheel drive bus and an epic driver in Lindsay who knows the road like that back of his hand and is able to drive a really big bus on this very narrow pot hole filled road.
While we’re bobbing up and down this crazy road we stop halfway to take in some amazing views then continue with the team telling us what we’re gonna be doing this afternoon which is a four to five hour trip exploring the beautiful Mt Tarawera volcano.
Once we reach the top Kayla is doing a prayer in te reo Maori which is the Maori language and this is provide safe passage on this sacred land which is really sacred to the local iwi and iwi in Maori is tribe.
It doesn’t take us long to get to the edge of the crater of this amazing volcano with such vibrant colours it’s such an insane landscape to be standing in and our mission for the first half of this tour is to make our way toward the summit of Mt Tarawera.
Climbing Mt Tarawera is gonna be an epic adventure it’s gonna take our breath away both literally because it’s gonna be a really steep slope and figuratively because the views are gonna be gorgeous. We have been warned that this tour is for some of the most fittest backpackers.
Although the tour starts on a mellow slop at the beginning of the walk it quickly becomes much steeper and it is a little bit hard to walk on because we’re walking on scree which are those little volcanic pebbles all over the floor making it a bit more of a fidgety kind of walk.
But the team from Kaitiaki Adventures gives us plenty of time to stop catch our breath and take awesome pictures.
The views are absolutely amazing and we feel like we’re walking on more of a lunar landscape rather than actually on plant earth. Mt Tarawera has a super rich history it is a core part of most of the local Maori legends and our tour guides are telling us all about that plus on top of that it had the largest recorded eruption in the last 500 years.
This rift here continues onto Rotorua Waimangu Volcanic Valley…
Ok, so you guys probably didn’t catch all that cos of the super noisy wind. In short, Mt Tarawera had this massive volcanic eruption in 1886 which completely changed the landscape creating a brand new geothermal valley the newest one in the world and it even buried an entire village it was a pretty devastating volcanic eruption.
But enough facts let’s talk about the fun part of the tour which is doing the scree run and this is making our way right down into the middle of the volcanic crater on super loose volcanic rocks and there’s a certain technique to doing this cos as you can see if you don’t do this correctly you will go tumbling down the mountain which is pretty hilarious.
But don’t worry guys no one was hurt during the making of this video however we do now have hiking shoes that are absolutely full of volcanic rock so once we get down to the bottom of this crater we spend a good 15 minutes unloading our shoes full of rocks so we can move on with the rest of our amazing walk around Mt Tarawera.
The unfortunate part of getting down to the bottom of the crater is the fact that you do have to make your way back up again and this takes us onto the steepest part of our walk of the whole day so it really does take our breath away. Speaking of taking our breath away we actually get to the point where we see the best views of the whole tour where we can see pretty much all the way across the North Island. Inland we can see the other volcanoes that are famous in the North Island like Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro and on the other side we can see all the way out to White Island out on the coast which we actually visited the other day to make sure to check out that video which we’ve linked up in the cards above.
Making our way back to Rotorua is the same adventure as making our way back toward Mt Tarawera. It’s the bumpiest and rockiest drive I’ve ever seen and I still don’t get how this road is a perfect fit for a bus. Finally back into our own car we making our way back toward Rotorua for the next step of our adventures.
So yeah we go up on this road and we are absolutely bumping from side to side up and down this bus thank god is four wheel drive so it’s getting us up and over the craziest bumps and in and out of the roughest dips.