As soon as we arrived from last trip to Mt Ruapehu we decided to go there again! We rented a house, got a day-off approved for Friday, agreed to leave Auckland around 12PM as usual and started waiting for awesome weekend!
Waiting for Galya. She’s living on some really steep street, so steep so you can film a movie with cars chasing on it.
We have called our friend Dima as soon as we arrived to his place and got the answer he’s still in the office but will try to leave soon. Then he came on a motorbike and told us he is going to park, and then he is going change cloth and then he TXTed to us saying he’s going to drink coffee.. I think that wasn’t a joke 🙂
While we were waiting, I decided to move on rear passenger seat of my Forester. Sometimes I do this after we come back home after shopping – it’s cool! So much space there, very unusual. BTW, my boot had lots of free space as well.
Then we drove to Egor’s workplace. He refused to make any pictures and also asked us do not tag him on Facebook. Sorry guys, I haven’t done group photo this time.
Just arrived in Manukao to get my snowboard back after fixing big chip on it. They haven’t finished their work in time but I got a replacement snowboard. I think it was Nitro which I believe is much better comparing to my own.
Our traditional stop at Huntly. And yes, gas/coal-fired power station doesn’t operate during summer because water in Waikato river is too warm to cool down its turbines.
Typical central North Island landscapes:
Rainbow. We saw at least 40 of them this time:
Our next stop was in Otorohanga at Thirsty Weta. I got seafood chowder and it was really tasty!
Aparts from food, you can try different beverages, including local cyder and beer. If you’re not sure to start with, you can always try small amount of beer for free. My friend’s favourite one is Pale Ale:
We arrived in Ohakune at evening, visited rentals office to get the keys, did some shopping and checked in to the house. It has smaller size compared with previous one but it was quite comfortable and cozy.
Apart cheese and whine we had hand made dumplings! I already posted about it 🙂 I was wrong when I said it is not a good idea to make dumplings if main goal of our trip to Mount Ruapehu is skiing and snowboarding.
7AM, waiting for coffee at Sweat Pea cafe:
I think staff members recognise us because of ridiculous compositon of pandas and white polar bear we left everytime on a table:
Checking the weather forecast again and leaving to find out what is the current road situation. There was information board saying: road is closed after 9 kilometers before 10AM. However we decided to drive straight to make sure. Indeed, road is closed. There was little snow on road side.
We decided drive back to Ohakune village and wait in a pub, drink tea and chat with each other. Also, we booked a sofa and a table opposite fire place for dinner. Guys, I do like 24-70!
10AM, Mt Ruapehu official web site is saying the road is closed till 12, and they probably will start only few lifts. Bummer! We think we need go to hot pools instead.
After 8 kilometers we stucked in traffic jam at National park because of some truck rolled over so we had to turn back and drive via Desert road until we were stopped by a stop sign in Waiouru – ice, snow, nowhere to go, panics in kiwiland!
After two kilometers we met another stop signs on both sides of ther road. Nothing to do, we have to go back to house. Some guys had a short nap, anothers were looking at their iPhones, checking road conditions and weather forecasts. As we understood, road was opened for two hours, but then it was closed again. I mean some skieres were able to drive on top of Mt Ruapehu but then they were blocked because of bad weather conditions – they have stopped lifts as well. We got confirmation around 1PM saying the truck was removed from drive way so we can go! We saw police car, few road workers and rolled truck of New Zealand Post. Some parts of road was icy.
Then we stopped near Discovery Lodge – because we just couldn’t drive straight, there was so much snow, it was magnificent! Heavy rains outside in Auckland just reminded me how cool it was at Tongariro National park last weekend when we did our snowtrip to Mount Ruapehu – everything was covered with snow! Snowballs, snowmans, back to the childhood..
We’ve already been at this place when we did Tongariro Alpine Crossing last year. This lodge provides earliest transfer to the beginning of great walk starting at 5AM.
Lake Rotoaira. One of the few privately owned lakes in New Zealand:
We stoppedn at lookout after we drove through pass on Te Ponange Saddle Road. Tokaanu Power Station is located quite near from this place. Here you can also see lake Taupo, second large fresh water lake in Oceania and fifth World super volcano which is able to change global climate and affect life on Earth drammatically. Never judge what you see?
Finally we arrived in Tokaanu Thermal Pools. Adult admittance for public pool will cost you $6, private pool will cost you $10 for 20 minutes. So it worth to buy private pool ticket and then go to Public pool for free and no time limits. Water in private pools is quite hot compared to public one and you can’t dive there because they don’t put chlorine into it. Thermal pools Tokaanu is all what you need after hard day on a MtRuapehu after snowboarding or skiing or when the road is closed due to bad wheather conditions. Definitely will go there again!
At the evening we arrived back to Ohakune, parked a car and went to Cypress bar, ordered stakes and beer and sat on a sofa opposite fireplace which we have booked in the morning:
Playing around with 50mm lenses:
Andrew is trying to win kids. If I’m not mistaken, it is not allowed to bring kids in a pub, also you can’t left them alone home before 14 y.o so kids have to wait for their parents outside or sitting in a car:
It was very good ending of Saturday which has started not very well:
Andrew is so happy so even if we will not doing snowboarding tomorrow he doesn’t care:
Next morning was verry chilly – forester was covered with thin layer of ice so it was a little bit hard to open its doors and gate
We got our breakfast, did some chore in the house, cheked out, bought coffee and finally we’re driving up to to the mountain! Who wakes up early to do powder snowboarding that’s me! Thanks to @wildrussianpig for making this photo while I was driving:
All National park Tongariro was covered with snow! Definitely it was worth waiting for it. We were very upset yesterday due to closed roads and lifts on MtRuapehu but as reward, we got plus 40cm of fresh powder snow.. Yey!
Absolutely no wind, warm and sunny weather – even lifts were closing half an hour later as usual this day:
Whatch this short video:
And then we stuck on Mount Ruapehu for 5 hours at the evening due to unexpected blizzard and snowfall, but I’ll tell you about it next time so do not miss!
Ivan Grigoryev's Blog
Living in New Zealand. Blogging about the country, beautiful places, everyday life.
Do a skydive - halfway completed; get 1400 - still working on; reach 300kph - completed by 96.6%