Definitely one of our favorite days in New Zealand. After driving into Taupo the night before following our glow worm caves excursion, we had an early rise around 5 AM to drive an hour outside town closer to the mountain (actually a volcano). From a carpark there at the end of the trail we had to take a 45 minute shuttle to where the trail began on the other side of the crossing. We began our hike around 8 AM, which took us through a fairly gentle walk through a gorgeous valley at the base of the volcano for about 1.5 hours. From there, it was a long and steep uphill climb over the next several hours to the highest peak on the hike at Red Crater (around 6,500 ft). We began our partial descent from there but stopped in time to enjoy a picnic before crossing the snowy valley in the middle of the mountain range. By the time we arrived back at our hostel it was around 6 PM, of which time we spent over 8 hours hiking. Scroll through the pictures to enjoy some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer.
Needless to say...there was not much movement from us the following day.