What brought us to Taupo was “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”. The Tongariro mountain range is a volcanic area with alpine vegetation and stunning lakes. It has the famous Mount Doom from LOTR (actually called as Mt Ngauruhoe). The crossing is around 20 kms long and it takes anywhere between 5-8 hours to cross it (depending on how many pictures you stop to click). The trail takes you through mountains, scree, lakes, alpine trees and forests. It is best to take a shuttle bus from Taupo (around 50-60 NZD).