|At the highest part of the Tongariro Crossing (the Blue Lake in the background)|
|The Red Crater|
|At the Emerald Lakes|
We kept on inching our way up the mountain, until - thank goodness - we reached a plateau and realised we were standing close to the South Crater underneath the summit of 'Mount Doom' (whose seven-note motif from Lord Of The Rings was hummed most of the way up). Staring up at the conical volcano - which is still active - I was relieved there were no imminent eruptions expected!
|A bargain at just $1380 (£650)!|
|At Honey Hive|
The next day, we headed towards New Zealand's largest lake and relaxed at a holiday park in Taupo, where we recharged our gadgets as well as our weary bodies!
|Not quite a hole-in-one but pretty close - honestly!|
I also tried my hand at the Lake Taupo Hole-In-One Challenge. I had a few near-misses and unfortunately didn't manage to get my hands on the $10,000 prize. If it had been free to play, I would have been there for days on end!