This blog was written from a short time I spent studying in New Zealand in 2017. In this particular story a group of us had decided to hire a van, drive up to Tongariro, and attempt the Tongaririo crossing, an 8 hour walk past a volcano. Except the journey there turned out more eventful then the crossing…

The Road trip team assembled

This weekend has definitely taught me some practical skills. Firstly if you decide to arrange accommodation for your group, and book it, everyone will be highly grateful and you will be assured that you have somewhere to sleep. However, I would now strongly recommend that if you are going to take on this responsibility…. you count how many people are attending.

Ready to go with all the gear… and nooooooooooooo idea

Yes, that’s right, 2 years of repping and 2 years of tourism management later…..and I miss counted how many people were traveling in our group. If I’m completely honest I don’t think I ever counted at all. Lucky for us I counted up not down and we were just landed with the bill for an extra person’s accommodation, I’m sure it could have been worse.  

However, if you do mess up the booking and don’t realise until everyone is stood in a circle waiting to leave, DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT write to your friend saying “hahaha this weekend trip is going terribly” and if you do feel the uncontrollable urge to send that to your loved one…… don’t send it on the weekend trip group chat by mistake. Oh yes ….

Then don’t forget to make sure the drivers know how to get from the airport so they don’t turn up 2 hours later, if people say they can drive make sure they are old enough to drive hire cars, and make sure you remind everyone to bring food and warm clothes…… Flying start!

I like to think that everything happens for a reason, and that was certainly true this weekend. After hours of driving we decided to stop at my friend’s house. At around 11 o clock at night 9 (not 10) of us bundled into his dads Livingroom to be greeted with hash browns, bacon sandwiches and pizza. It was so generous, so needed and can you get anymore Kiwi? 

Tongariro Crossing, where we were aiming to go.

We bundled back out of the house again all ready for a nice half hour drive to the hostel. Everyone got comfy in the van as we pulled away, just in time to hear the “swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, clank” sound of some broken van part. The boys jumped out claiming how it was just a rock in the breaks, and they can fix it. A few kicks later we pulled away, the noise was still there. This repeated a few times until they realised they were looking at the wrong wheel.

The rest of us in the van were then greatly reassured by the proclamation “it’s definitely this one its really really hot!”…… after a few phone calls to dad (absolute hero) a decision was made to pull back to the house and call the AA. In a kill or cure moment the wheel was given several more hard kicks and we were off, amazingly this time in silence! I guess if you’re going to kick it to fix it, make sure you kick it hard enough!

While the best part of the weekend was obviously the hike across the Tongariro Crossing, the journey there had some hilarious and unexpected challenges and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how, maybe, not to plan your trip.

One thought on “Unpublished Stories: TONGARIRO CROSSING, OR HOW NOT TO PLAN A ROAD TRIP

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