Tongariro National Park Nov 8th.
Whakapapa (1160M) Wind Chill 6-11°C, Rain, windy.
Red Crater (1780M) Wind Chill 0-2°C, Rain, Gales.
Rain, rain, mist and rain in Whakapapa. Gales, rain and low temps in exposed areas of the mountains.
Not a pleasant day to walk the Tongariro Crossing. Only for the intrepid, very fit hikers not looking for the mountain views.
Breakfast in the warm Ruapehu room of the Chateau Tongariro is some compensation. Large picture windows display the rainy landscape whilst enjoying a substantial buffet breakfast. The single rooms in the old wing are perfect for one person, quite comfortable with radiant heaters to keep out the chill. You can save 5% on the bill by becoming a member(free) before booking online. Another perk is a free voucher for Devonshire Tea.
Ventured off to walk the 5.4km round trip to Taranaki Falls, went about 200M before it came down, rain and mist, wet and can’t see a thing. Waited a long while, it wasn't going to let up.
Drove 15km to National Park Village for dinner at Eivin's Cafe which has good reviews. Didn't disappoint, nice friendly atmosphere and the food was great.
On the way back the rain let up enough to take the short 800M round trip to Tawhai Falls. Also known as Gollum's Pool, this is where he caught fish in LOTR The Two Towers. Far from the idyllic movie scene, the falls were thundering with the recent rainfall.
Spent the rest of the evening enjoying a pot of tea by the fire in the grand Ruapehu room. Mt Ruapehu was absent, however, completely shrouded in mist. See the brochure: https://www.chateau.co.nz/gallery/