On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Paul in St. Augustine
Shortly after the half way mark, the descent began. Having circumnavigating around the volcano, the track entered forested land, which meant the dramatic views had ended, but the trek had not. The downhill trek became very difficult, and just as I thought we had reached the car park, we had an ascent of a couple of hundred feet, and then another 30 minutes of downhill clambering.
Emerald Lake, from the summit of the trail at the Red Crater. For perspective, notice the three figures standing at four o’clock on the small lake.
An encouraging sign.
The last picture from Tongariro.
Sunrise the next morning from my balcony. I found a small B&B that was close to the start of the trek. Since it was early in the trekking season, I was the only guest for the two nights I stayed. The host was very generous, supplying me with a solid lunch for the trek, a great dinner, and a nice breakfast the morning after. Full disclosure. When I woke up in the morning the day after, I did not think I was going to be able to move. I had turned 50 at the beginning of that year, and my fitness level was not the best. I’m certainly glad I had the experience.
My final view as I drove on to the next adventure, a rafting tour through the Black Labyrinth at Waitomo Caves.
At the time of this visit, the population of New Zealand was about 4 million people and 40 million of these.
When you travel to NZ, you leave Los Angeles at 10:30 PM on Sunday, and arrive in Auckland about 5 AM on Tuesday. The significance of this picture was my first sighting of snow capped mountains, as I drove south from Auckland. The return trip is slightly different: you leave Auckland at 7 PM on Friday, and land in Los Angeles at 10 AM on Friday.
Wow, I have had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list forever. Your photos spur me on, but the description of the plane ride is daunting.
Paul, So beautiful, and you leave me begging for more! Mary G. I found the plane trips really easy that way to Australia. Not that I wasn’t jet lagged but it did make it easier because they serve dinner, dim the lights and you can sleep through most of it. Around what would be sunrise they slowly bring up the lights, serve breakfast (they came around with snacks a few hours before for anyone awake) and then rush you out the door and through customs. It is full on daylight and if you can manage until 6-7 pm to go to sleep you can hit the ground running the next day. Return wasn’t quite as easy for me, but not awful. Long winded way of saying: don’t let the plane ride stop you!
@Mary G: Yeah, the 13 hour flight from LA to Auckland is no fun.
(You can fly via Christchurch–I did once–but that airport is small and really shuts down at night. With the time shift on US/NZ flights, this can become a real problem sometimes. South Island is my favorite but I think a trip to NZ is best done by flying into AUK, traveling around the north, then taking the ferry or a short hop flight to the south island and traveling there. Maybe I should spell it “travelling”…)
The no-advance-visa-required (but there is a fee to leave (!)) maximum stay is six months, which isn’t really long enough, but is longer than most of us can manage anyway. My trips were never more than six weeks, alas.
@Laura Too: I can only sleep on planes in the business class seats. Did get one of those for an LAX/Sydney round trip once, using a quarter million miles or something. That was nice…
@Chris T.: Whoops, it’s LAX/AKL (Auckland), not AUK. AUK is Alakanuk Airport, in Alaska. (Found while browsing pricing to Auckland…)
The view from your balcony…!!! Love the blues and greens in the last photo.
NZ posts always seem to bring about the best comments — informative and pleasant and relaxed, just like New Zealanders are (anyway the one I know) and are reputed to be (all the others).
The international date line is weird. When I was a kid my dad was in the Navy and got stationed in Taiwan. His assignment allowed family to come along. At the time the US government was trying to prop up the last couple American-flagged cruise ships, so some military families moving overseas could go on a cruise ship rather than flying. Dad won the lottery and we took a 17 day cruise from Los Angeles to Taiwan. I was 9 years old and it was super fun. One day a bunch posters appeared in the kid accessible areas of the ship saying that on Tuesday the ship was going to drop anchor and they would allow everyone who wanted to to go fishing from the lifeboats. This was very exciting! I went to bed Monday night and woke up early ready to go fishing. My dad asked me why I was so amped up. I said I wanted to fishing. He was mystified. I said it’s Tuesday, and Tuesday is going fishing day. He informed me that no, it’s Wednesday. We then had a conversation about the international date line. I am still kind of pissed about not getting to go fishing.
Returning from Taiwan 2 years later we flew. Due to a layover in Japan, we arrived in the states 3 hours before we left. Some friends of mine who flew direct back to the US got get there the day before they left.
A genuine time machine! Yay!!!
Love the last shot especially much — blue+green = my favorite color combination.
I flew from Newark to Beijing when I went to China — 13 hours, 3 meals, only about an hour of sleep. I slept about 19 out of my 1st 24 hours in China. Interesting to have thought of China all my life as east or west of wherever I was in the US, only to head directly north when we left Newark.