If heading to New Zealand for a Lord of the Rings tour or exploring the great outdoors, the Tongariro Crossing is something you will not want to miss. Trek up and around active volcanoes in the alpine. The hike is very unique and provides awesome views and sometimes makes you feel like your are hiking on Mars.
The sulfuric pools stink, but the vibrant, aqua colors give the rather brown landscape color. The Red Crater can be looked into while hiking, making you wonder what it looked like before it erupted. Once reaching the high point of the trek, it looks like a straight drop down to the valley. Plunge step down the loose path to get to the sulfuric pools of water emitted from the geothermic activity below the Earth's surface.
The hike took my friends and I 6.5 hours. We are experienced hikers and were exposed to large gusts of wind and probably finished the hike in good time. With the exception of the alpine crossing, the hike isn't too challenging.