I always dream of how I would wander alone in New Zealand.

Just immerse at the moment surrounded by nature with a good companion which is my loyal camera, safely tucked in my backpack. The land of vast open space with beautiful landscapes.

I had my chance last year while on a quick trip to accompany my beloved daughter to register at one of the universities in Wellington. It meant to be just a sneak peek trip for me … send her off to the maturity land and as for me, the wandering mom would come back again to embark on my own wandering trip exploring NZ.

The land of Lord of Ring with Dwarfs, Elves, the Hobbits, the Wizards and all sort of creatures wander around freely. Well … sort of lol.

I could not contain myself though, once my daughter completed her things to do list I quickly purchased my Intercity bus ticket to the nearest adventurous place that I could hold on to, which is the Tongariro National Park. The oldest national park in NZ, located in the center of North Island and acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

Here sit Mt. Tongariro 1967m, Mt. Ngauruhoe  2291m (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings filming locations) and Mt. Ruapehu 2797m. One of the several locations where Peter Jacksons shot the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

I travel alone.

I like the idea of exploring and wandering alone. It is less noisy. More just do it moment less “let us plan on what to do” moment

I booked my 2 nights stay at YHA hostel, National Park thinking that well … I should just hang around here looking at the mountains from afar.

The weather was not very good on the day that I arrived at the park. Raining with thick fogs surrounding the valleys. If you have just one-day you can do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but if you have more days to spend then you can camp and track to several routes surrounding the park.

My plan was just to be here and enjoy the mountainous view. Tongariro Alpine Crossing takes a maximum of an eight hours track to complete, it is insane to take up the challenge when you never walk further than a distance between your car and the shopping mall’s front door (am relating it to me, lol). The total distance of the crossing is 19.4km … insane.

Memang giler kentang … curiosity kills the cat. Well, guess what … I completed the crossing. Sharing a snippet story from my personal blog at matsudamahimaru.com on how bizarre was my experience doing the Tongariro National Park … walking by myself for 8 hours crossing mountains, volcanic craters and alpine forest.

“As I continue for another 11.3 km trails to Ketetahi Carpak the weather started getting irritated. The fogs thicken, the temperature started to drop further down (9-12 degree) as the raindrops started to clouds my glasses … omg, I was standing on a narrow trail between 2 very steep craters while my feet were shaken due to lack of sugar aka energy and my glasses was clouded. The sulfur smell filled the air.”

“I nearly cried at the very last 6.3km … as my feet could not take it anymore. Other trekkers passed by me one after another leaving me alone struggling with my incapabilities. Oh, I hate that feeling of being left behind … but I kept my chin up and walk slowly imagining myself doing brisk walk at my most favourite park.”

For further reading about my story please click here at ➤ Matsuda conquers Tongariro Alpine Crossing

melancong ke new zealand

Picture of me posing at the midpoint of the crossing … yeah! me too, I also could not “brain” the MYDIN plastic bag that I carried on my back during this bizarre journey. Out of all the bags that I have … that lucky MYDIN plastic bag was the chosen one. And, that plastic bag is a non-biodegradable type lol.

Gorgeous beautiful world that we live in. Enjoy wandering around the globe and #CreateYourStory.


Matsuda Mashimaru

psst: Saya bukan sahaja ingin melancong ke New Zealand tetapi mencuba dan berangan untuk menjelajah bumi New Zealand sebagai seorang pemerhati dan explorer. In Sha Allah akan ada sambungan untuk kisah saya sebagai wanderer di sini.

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