Volcanism is one of New Zealand's distinctive features, although this materializes only on the North Island. The active volcanoes within the Tongariro National Park, dominating the middle of the island like a huge monument, provide an interesting terrain for hiking, or tramping, as the locals call it. We walked around the complex volcano Tongariro on one of the so-called great walks. Its popularity requires booking well in advance. While there are huts available, we chose to use a tent instead.
A second tour lead us into the Alps on the South Island. After a short transfer from Queenstown, we first hiked up the Rees Valley into the Mount Aspiring National Park, crossed into the Dart Valley with a side trip over Cascade Saddle, then went back down the Dart Valley, all together known as the Rees-Dart Track. A second transfer took us to the Routeburn, also rated as a great walk ending in the Fiordland National Park, an area with notoriously high precipitation, of which we got our share.