Today we relocated to Tongariro. I can't really do any kind of justice to this place other than these two observations:
1. Holy f*cking mountains.
2. The Chateau itself is more or less exactly what I imagine the Overlook Hotel (from The Shining) to look like. One hopes it's less possessed.
The scenery here is gorgeous! There were a couple scenic overlooks on the way over the range into Tongariro, but thanks to Vodafone I'll have to upload them later. As for Mount Ruapehu: Dramatic Volcano is Dramatic.
On the way here, we stopped at the Waimangu hot springs area, got a lot of awesome photos, and put our hands into some bubbling spring water straight from a little... uh... geyser hole? I don't know what you call them. Anyway it was like a hot bath, and left a slightly sticky residue on my fingers for a while after it dried. The hardest of hard water. But still very cool, and now I can say I stuck my fingers in geothermal hot water straight from the source.
We also stopped by Taupo to check out the lake there. I could easily see myself spending some lazy days by the lakeside, there.