"We’ll wake up at 4am," is what the crew had planned prior to doing the Tongariro Crossing.
However, that is one of many things that didn't work out that day.
Our troubles started at the base of the mountain where we were greeted with strong winds and freezing temperatures.
Determined to experience the track, we started moving.
The early stages offered incredible views; from the hills filled with flora, to the huge majestic valleys and icy cold streams that flowed through the volcanic rocks. The views were indescribable.
Further ahead, the terrain became more difficult. Suddenly, we were faced with a warning, "STOP. Are you really prepared to continue your alpine crossing trek?"
With a unanimous yes, we moved on, unaware of the challenges that we were about to face.
Our first challenge came in the form of stairs. In what seemed to be a neverending climb to the top, we pushed onwards in hope of reaching the peak.
As we went higher and higher, the temperature got colder and the wind became stronger.
Clouds enveloped us from all directions making it difficult to see the higher we got.
Our first moment of respite came when we reached a flat piece of land high up in the mountains.
Unfortunately we had only trekked a quarter of the track and our biggest challenge was yet to come.
As we continued to climb up, the cold winds continued to punish us, forcing us to huddle behind boulders for comfort.
Our teeth chattering, vision weakened, we were anxious, and afraid for our lives.
However, the crew broke through it all, we had conquered the most difficult part of the trek and were rewarded with the beautiful Emerald Lakes.
We descended the red crater and proceeded to have lunch by the lakes.
With our spirits lifted, we continued on to another and much bigger lake known as The Blue Lake.
We managed to see everything we could see, and started our descent down the mountain.
The descent was a completely new experience as we trekedk down an endless path to the bottom.
The view on the otherhand was a different story.
We continued to trek down the mountain and were greeted with the lush vegetation at the base of it.
After ten hours on the track, we reached the car park exhausted but satisfied.
We had officially crossed the Tongariro Crossing.
Scroll down to see images.
The last stop of our adventures however, ended in the Redwoods of Rotorua.