The Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of New Zealand's Great Walks with a length of 43 km. Located South of Lake Taupo in the Tongariro National Park it brings you through a active volcanic scenery that looks rather familiar...
Yes you know this mountain, it's Mt Doom from the Lord of the Rings. Let's have a closer look:
After about 3 hours of walking you reach the foothill of the mountain and from now on you literally walk through Mordor.
A look back at the path: ("Up, up, up the stairs we go")
Without taking sidetrips you reach the highest point after about 5 hours and get some phantastic views as a reward.
The Blue Lake in front and Lake Taupo in the back:
The Emerald Lakes:
A look on the next part of the trek:
As the official huts and campsites were fully booked the only option was to camp wild. You have to leave the path by 500m though which is quite a distance. But there are plenty of good camping spots in Mordor:
Including a sunset next to Mt Ruapehu:
The next morning brought a great view of the same mountain:
And not much more to see, just walking through desert-like land and a small forest. The campsite for the last night though was again at a very neat spot: