At the weekend, we travelled down to Marton for my only sister's birthday lunch. The mountains have never looked more magnificent. Travelling South from Lake Taupo you come to this area called Tongariro National Park which has 3 main mountains in a group; the 2 seen here( above ) from the Desert Road are Mt. Ngauruhoe (2271 ' high- the pointy cone ) and the lower part to the right is Mt. Tongariro( 1956') ( Mt Ruapehu is the the left of these 2. )
Mt. Ruapehu (2797' the highest of the 3 )
We knew as we approached there was going to be the clearest brightest view ever. We had already had to wash ice from the car windows and Taupo over night was really cold - but look what a fabulous day followed. I got very cold jumping out of the car to take photos so after the first few decided to take them through the front windscreen of the car ( faster too ).
All drivers were being very careful in the icy conditions.
Some were maybe too careful - For kilometre after kilometre a truck another car and us followed a small car doing barely 70 kilometres an hour. It did NOT pull over even when there was room to do so. Eventually to our delight the 2nd following car suddenly displayed flashing lights and a siren and pulled the slow car up. A very well disguised ( plain clothes ) cop car!
Nearer to Taihape the road was the most icy and we hit a small patch of black ice ( invisible ) that momentarily pushed the car sideways. We continued to be really careful. See here on the hills the valleys in between are icy - they were still like that on our return journey later that day.
The early evening view of the mountains, on the return journey was also amazing as the sky coloured ,a plane left a vapour trail and the snow stood out very brightly.
We travelled 722 kilometres and arrived home safely at 8.15 pm. R drove the whole way - he likes to. I am happy being the photographer. ( these are just a few of the many pictures I took.) They all enlarge if you click on them.