Day 52: Tongariro Weather Delay Day 2
Sunday, December 31, 2023 8:28 pm
Location: Tongariro Holiday Park (1120.4 km)

With torrential downpours for much of today, we again sat out the rain in the comfort of our cabin.

Anticipating hiking out tomorrow, we booked lodging for two nights at Whakapapa Holiday Park, on the other side of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Having lost a day today, we’ll no longer be able to do the Round the Mountain loop we’d hoped to do after completing the crossing, but instead, we’ll take a day trip to some lakes on the mountains.

Later, an updated weather forecast came in, showing potentially dangerous wind gusts tomorrow on the mountain. Many of us considered delaying here another day.

Ultimately, based on advice from the managers of the holiday park, we decided to get up at 5:30 am tomorrow morning and look for the mountains, which should tower behind the cabins in good weather. If we can see the mountain, we’ll go. If we can’t, but the weather forecast has improved, we’ll probably go also. Peter and Susanna, and Hannah, will join us tomorrow morning in looking for the mountain, and probably the five of us will hike out together. (The manager also said that based on the current forecast, her experience suggests the mountains will up around noon tomorrow, and get cloudy again around noon the day after.)

It feels a little weird to go to sleep a few hours before midnight on New Years Eve, but also on the trail, holidays don’t really matter. It’s just another day of the hike. Still, it’ll be great if we can get some amazing views to kick off 2024!