My return flight was early. I had to be in the airport by 5am. I didn't sleep much. It gave me a change to sleep on the flight. It was a sad good bye to Shawn. I hope I will see him again very soon. After I backed to Sydney, I had an afternoon nap. I was exhausted after the trip but it was worth it.
We were exhausted last night, so we sleep in that day morning. In fact, we were hungry. So we waked up to have breakfast and then go back to sleep. After that, we pack our bags to get ready to check out. After checked out the lodge, we walked around the village again before leaving the place. Before waiting the intercity bus, we had a quick lunch, saying good bye to some of the guests that stayed there and last look of the view. :) Again it was another six hours bus trip back to Auckland. The bus stopped at the same place. We had a coffe break at The Bakehouse Cafe, Taumarunui. Unfortunately, the flat white is way too hot. Big no-no to that cafe. We felt tired when we reached back at Manukau. We decided to have a quick dinner at McDonald's. I said to myself. I must try their Georgie Pie, even though I heard lots of bad review about it. There were two flavours at that time, mince and cheese or chicken and vegetable. I picked the chicken version. After a bite, I totally agreed with other. Another big no-no. More then 60% of the filling are gravy / sauce with tiny bits of shredded chicken and barely seen vegetable bits. Last minute, we decided to go clubbing that night, since it was a long weekend. I slept less then four hours that night.
Day seven was the highlight of this trip. We took 7am shuttle van to starting point of tongariro crossing, Mangatepopo Car Park (1100m). We just followed the main track, passed Mangatepopo Hut (1190m), and loo break near Soda Springs (1350m). We did a brief look at Soda Springs. We continued along South Crater, which was between Mount Tongariro (1967m) on our left and Mount Ngauruhoe (2287m) on our right. At one point, we managed to see Mount Egmont from far due to excellent weather (clear sky) on that day. We rested for a while at the highest ground, Red Crater (1886m), After that, we started to go down hill. After walked through a steep loose rocks track, we reached at three Emerald Lakes (1730m), and then Blue Lake (1725m). We walked pass some tracks that still covered with snow. After a while, we reached at Ketetahi (1456m) for loo and snak break. We walked some rain forest before finished just before 5pm at end point of tongariro crassing, Ketetahi Car Park (736m). The total distance of the main track is 19.4km. After returning to the lodge, we returned all our rented gears, had a relax hot spa, dinner and went to bed early.