Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest and most popular park. Encompassing a cluster of active volcanoes on the North Island, this area is sacred to the Maori people in New Zealand. But, per usual, European conquistadors and early settlers gave little regard to native people’s customs and beliefs. In 1887, in an attempt to protect their…

Mount Taranaki Summit

New Zealand’s North Island is divided by a chain of volcanoes running north to south, with the exception of one: Mount Taranaki. According to Maori legend, Taranaki used to reside in the center of the country with the rest of the volcanoes, but after a feud with his brother, the great Mount Ruapehu, over the…

Rangitoto Island Loop

Having flown into Auckland, we scheduled a few days to adjust to the local time zone and explore the country’s capital city. But cities are boring so we spent our day in NZ doing a warm-up trek on the Rangitoto Island Scenic Reserve.From Auckland’s main ferry terminal we took the 30-minute boat ride to a…

Mount Saint Helens – Loowit Trail

Fourth of July weekend is a great time for a tramp. While the hoards head for the city to partake in the parades, fried food and fireworks, K and I prefer to travel in the opposite direction: to the parks. This year we decided to celebrate Independence Day on the Loowit Trail, a 36-mile loop…