Mount Ruapehu

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It is hard to describe the view of Mount Ruapehu in summer. Located in the Tongariro National Park, this is an alien landscape. When we arrived there, we were the only people around. Standing among the inactive char lifts (closed due to major storm at the top of the mountain) surrounded by almost lifeless rocks you get an uneasy feeling of the grandeur of the mountain.

If you look carefully at the photographs you can see the chair lift stations. This is to show you the scale of the place. The views are vast, impressive and somehow unwelcoming.

The weather here can be very unpredictable. We called ahead to check it was OK to climb the mountain, one and a half hours later, when we arrived, the mountain was closed affected by an edge of a cyclone from Fiji. Bad luck. Instead we drove back to the village and went on a 10km walk at the foot of the mountain. Worth every step. New Zealand never fails to amaze.