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volcano

Mt Aso – vulcanism & tourism combo

Where else in the world would there be a tourist ropeway leading up to a pungeant, steaming, and very live, volcanic crater?  At least there are concrete emergency shelters installed for the rare occasion when the volcano goes bang. (more…)

Along the Yamanami Highway

The Yamanami Highway is a tourist road in Oita that runs between near Yufuin towards Kurokawa Onsen and Aso.  It crosses over a plateau that appears not very Japanese in character – it’s wide and open.  (more…)

Panoramas along the Yamanami Highway

This is the Kuju Kogen (Kuju Highlands) in Oita Prefecture, which I visited during Golden Week recently.  Both panoramas are taken along the “Yamanami Highway”, a scenic route across the mountains between Yufuin and Kurokawa Onsen.  (more…)

Oturere to Waihohonu – Day 3 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

Day 3 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit (which I think was 31 Jan) was a much shorter day than the first two, of only a few hours’ walk.  Now that we’d left the main Tongariro Crossing track behind, there were less people around, and everyone we met was out tramping for several days.  Even then, the hut was busy overnight, but we were staying with some of the same people, and there were some by now friendly faces on the track. (more…)

Ketetahi to Oturere – Day 2 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit

Day 2 on the Tongariro Northern Circuit  took us from Ketetahi Hut, and the very northern end of the Tongariro Cross, backwards to the top of the Devil’s Staircase, up to the summit of 2,287m Mt Ngauruhoe, then retracing our steps to the Emerald Lakes before dropping down to Oturere Hut. (more…)

Descending the volcano – Mt Ngauruhoe

I just got back from a week in New Zealand, where I went tramping (Kiwese for bushwalking) on the Tongariro Northern Circuit.  This is a four day walk around Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, with overnight stops in well-equipped Department of Conservation (DOC) huts.  It’s an extension of the Tongariro Crossing, which is a day walk.  After all, why go all that way just for a day? (more…)