Apr 18, 2017

When we are in the Hiking New Zealand office we love reading Trip Advisor reviews and all the emails we get from happy clients; it reminds us why we are in this business (even if we must do our time in the office too).

Robert Cool’s ‘Perfect Day’ struck a cord with all of us. 

We have taken the liberty of adding in some of our favourite shots from Tongariro National Park, as we imagine his day.


Mt Ngauruhoe winter

Dear HNZ,

I was recently asked, as a conversation starter question, how I would describe my hypothetical “perfect day”. The first thing that came into my head was that this was not a hypothetical question at all. The Tongariro Crossing hike that I did in March 2016 with Hiking New Zealand fit the description.

I started out that day by waking up in the Skotel and cooking breakfast with my group of five fellow hikers and guide (Linda). By this time in the tour we all knew each other pretty well and all pitched in as a team to every meal and activity. We drove to the parking area for the hike and started off under a thick but bright layer of clouds that continued to open and close giving us little sneak peeks of the mountains.

It’s always refreshing to be in a group of people that are all pursuing the exact same goal. Not only were the seven of us hiking, but also large amounts of other people from every corner of the globe. And we were all pursuing the same final destination; the summit.




The temperature was cool, but the sun was warm. Perfect hiking weather! We hiked up through the clouds and emerged onto the pass between Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The sun was brilliant and made the tops of the clouds look like the sea with the mountains emerging like islands. There was hardly a breath of wind. 

After a quick snack at the top, we started down the scree slope to the Emerald Lake with their unique shades of color changing with every variation of light. We hiked down through the lava block field towards Oturere Hut. There were hardly any people besides our group on this section of the trail and I suddenly felt transported back in time to when the earth was new. Volcanos and lava blocks, hardy plants gaining a foothold in the ashy soil, an occasional bird soaring overhead. The experience was one of remoteness and grandeur.

We arrive at the hut in time for the Kiwi park ranger to give us a humor filled explanation of how hut life worked and got us all to share our names and origins. There were approximately 25 people in the hut that night, again representing a broad sample of the human species. Supper took from 5:00-9:00pm with every small group taking turns at the stove. Down-time was spent playing games and talking about travels. Good thing we weren’t playing for real money or I would have gotten fleeced at a game of Chinese poker!

I enjoy a wide variety of activities, but hiking with my friends through one of the most beautiful and fantastic landscape on earth must rank about the highest on my list. I just wanted to pass this along as a thank-you message to your team. Feel free to use this on your website if you wish.


Robert Cool


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