Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Mt Tongariro, New Zealand

The Tongariro National Park is the home to Mount Tongariro, which is a compound volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 20 KM to the southwest of Lake Taupo, the three active volcanoes that dominate the landscape of the central North Island. Mount Tongariro consists of four massifs made of andesite: Tongariro, Kakaramea, Pihanga, and Ruapehu.
The andesitic eruptions formed Tongariro, a steep stratovolcano, reaching a height of 6,490 ft. Tongariro is composed of layers of both lava and tephra and first erupted 275,000 years ago. With its ruggedly diverse landscape, from volcanic peaks to lush native bush and rivers, the Tongariro National Park World Heritage Site is a natural wonder that beams quintessential New Zealand.
Tongariro is part of the Tongariro volcanic center, which consists of at least 12 cones. Ngauruhoe, while often regarded as a separate mountain, is geologically a cone of Tongariro. It is also the most active vent, having erupted more than 70 times since 1839, and the last episode in 1973 to 1975. Also, activity has also been recorded at other vents in modern history. Also, Te Māri Craters erupted in 2012, for the first time since 1897. Red Crater last erupted ash in 1926 and contains active fumaroles. There are a lot of explosion craters on the massif; water has filled some of these to form the Blue Lake and the Emerald Lakes.
The high altitude and harsh alpine climate between March and October cause snowfall in the winter and rain can freeze, causing verglas; in contrast in the mid to late summer, the mountains can be bare apart from remnant patches of snow in south-facing gullies. Unlike nearby Mt. Ruapehu, no glaciers exist on Tongariro today.
However, geomorphological evidence in the form of moraines and cirques indicates the former presence of mountain glaciers. Moreover, the dating of moraines on western Tongariro show that valley glaciers were present at more than a few times during the last glacial cycle. Before it melting away at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 18,000 years ago.
Mount Tongariro is the New Zealand's first national park and one of the earliest in the world. The park also includes the peaks of Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, both of which lie to the southwest of Tongariro. The national park is a dual World Heritage Site for its outstanding natural and intangible cultural values. The popular hiking route called Tongariro Alpine Crossing passes between Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. Mount Tongariro and its surroundings are also one of the several locations which Peter Jackson chose to shoot The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Mt Tongariro had what was initially believed to be a hydrothermal eruption after a month of increased activity. The eruption occurred at the Te Māri Craters, which had been dormant since 1897. The eruption occurred in a new vent below the Upper Te Māri crater, and sent blocks as large as 1 metre in size up to 2 kilometers from the vent.

An ash cloud 6.1 kilometers high deposited ash into the surrounding area, especially to the east of the volcano. The ash cloud travelled 250 kilometers in four hours. NIWA reported the ash cloud contained about 10,000 cubic meters of ash, and that the ash cloud was 25 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide 39 minutes after the eruption. Ash and the smell of sulphur were reported in Napier and Hastings. The smell of sulphur was also reported in Wellington, Nelson and Blenheim.
State Highway 1 to the east and State Highway 46 to the north of the mountain each received up to 5 centimeters of ash cover, and were closed until the following morning due to ash and low visibility. A layer of ash 10 to 15 millimeters thick settled on farmland 5 to 10 km east of Mount Tongariro. Particle sizes were between 2 and 3 millimeters.
The airspace within a 12 km radius of the mountain was closed after the eruption. New Zealand canceled some flights in and out due to the risk of volcanic ash clogging the engines on their aircraft serving those airports. Mount Tongariro erupted again, ejecting an ash cloud 4000 meters into the air. Many flights in the region were canceled and in the subsequent morning. Geologists had no warning before the eruption, saying it wasn't linked to warnings the week before of elevated activity at nearby Mount Ruapehu.

Also Read: Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake is a Fascinating Glacial Encounter
Source: Wikipedia

Friday, 19 April 2019

Huka Falls, New Zealand

Huka Falls Facts
Huka Falls is set of waterfalls on the Waikato River (New Zealand longest River) which feed Lake Taupo in New Zealand. In this beautiful place, one can see the natural phenomenon of hydropower often approaches 22,000 liters of water per se barreling over an 11-meter high waterfall. The flow rate is regulated by Mercury NZ Ltd., through the Taupo Control Gates. Further, flow rates can increase depending on power demands, which in turn can alter the height of the Huka Falls from 7 to 9.5 m. The volume of water flowing at the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 8 meters. The final stage of the falls is over a 6-meter drop, raised to an effective 11m fall by the depth of the water.
The falls are a popular tourist attraction, being close to Taupo. The Waikato River upstream moves gracefully north from Lake Taupō between banks 100 meters apart. Then it enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The canyon is carved into Lake Floor sediments laid down 26,500 years ago when the Oruanui eruption of Taupo Volcano took place. The effect is nature's large-scale equivalent of a fire hose feeding into a very fine nozzle. 
A pedestrian bridge at the top of the Huka Falls puts you in the best position to get up close and observe the potent display of water blasting. Also, if you want to like to see the real power and fury of the falls up close try a jet boat or cruise ride up to the crystal-blue pool. Anyone visiting here gets amazed with the beauty of Huka Falls. They are having the feelings of seeing one of the “natural wonders of the world.” The crystal clear water of Huka Falls combined the vibrant white and blue of the cascading falls and the surrounding terrain create a picture-perfect landscape for avid photographers.

Spa Park Walk
Along the Huka Falls, one can hike the Spa Park, an easy one-hour scenic walk that starts where the river is still tranquil and wide. During hike and passing through exotic and native forests, the track emerges alongside the river and the roar of the falls grows louder at each turn.
Also near the falls, many great vantage points are available where you can relish their full glory and capture selfies and photographs. This unbelievable sight is the most-visited natural attraction in New Zealand. It is extremely hard to tear your gaze away from the endless, mesmerizing torrent. Since you are in the Taupo area, so, a two-hour trail that will wind you through scenic surroundings until you arrive at the Aratiatia Dam, another awesome attraction worth visiting.
History of Huka Falls
The word “Huka” is a Maori term which means “foam”? It’s quite appropriate that these set of falls are referred to as “Foam Falls” given the amount that is created every second the water flows over the edge. Huka Falls was created because of the narrowing of the Waikato River creating a powerful surge as the water scrambles to get through the narrow gap. Source: CP

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Wai-o-Tapu, Thermal Wonderland

Wai-o-Tapu means “sacred waters”, also spelt Waioyapu is an active geothermal area north of the Reporoa caldera, in New Zealand's. The geothermal area covers 18 square kilometers. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is one of the most surreal places on earth so naturally it’s high on the list of Rotorua’s must-see attractions. The Taupo Volcanic Zone has dramatic geothermal conditions beneath the earth; the area has several hot springs noteworthy for their colorful appearance. This is a place to marvel at nature’s artistic splendor, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is also committed to providing a safe visitor experience.

There are many hot springs, like Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Pool, Artist's Palette, Primrose Terrace and boiling mud pools. So, by foot, you can view the curated experience naturally forming hot springs appear around the area. Moreover, earlier to European occupation the area was the homeland of the Ngati Whaoa tribe who descended from those on the Arawa waka (canoe). Since 1931, the area has rich history of tourist attraction; well protected the scenic reserve occupies part of the reserve under a concession.
It operates under the name "Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland crosses Kaingaroa Forest, passes Murupara, and then continues as an unsealed road through the mountains of Te Urewera, along Lake Waikaremoana to Wairoa on the border of Hawke Bay. Wai-O-Tapu mud Pools are completely unforgettable experience was originally the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920’s. Moreover, the area in which the landscape has been sculptured by geothermal activity and where unique volcanic features can be viewed from well defined tracks.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Forever Bent Trees of Slope Point, New Zealand

Slope Point is the southern point of New Zealand’s South Island, famous due to consistently lashed with fierce and cold southwesterly winds that blow up from Antarctica. In this region the wind is so strong and persistent, that caused the trees twisted, warped and constantly bent along the direction the wind blows. The Slope Point is mainly used for sheep farming, and aside from a few sheep, no humans or other animals live on this part of the island.

However, there’re some derelict shacks built under the protection of the windswept trees, but even those are abandoned. The marvelously steep cliffs drop down to the sea below. Here, the scenes are truly astonishing over the rocky coastline and surrounding cliffs. Although, there is a slight signpost that shows the distance to the Equator and the South Pole, and a small solar-powered lighthouse stands on the farmland. Yet like virtually everywhere else in New Zealand you will find hardy creatures need some shelter from the elements and so, many decades ago, local farmers planted saplings which they hoped would meet the expense of their animals some respite from the often savagely inclement weather.

Please keep in mind that there are no proper roads to Slope Point, but it can be reached by a 20-minute walk following dilapidated yellow markers. It is maybe hard to believe this challenging micro-climate is only a few hours’ drive from the fiords and rain forests of Milford Sound.  As such Slope Point contributes to the excellent and idiosyncratic beauty of New Zealand - the broad diversity of landscapes in the vicinity each other. There is no public access during the lambing season starting September to November.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Mitre Peak, New Zealand

In New Zealand, one of most photographed mountain is Mitre Peak, located close to the shore of Milford Sound, in the Fiordland National Park in the southwestern South Island. The iconic mountain has distinctive shape gives the mountain its name after the Mitre headwear of Christian bishops. The Mitre Peak or Māori Rahotu is named by Captain John Lort Stokes of HMS Acheron. 

The Mitre location is most distinctive reason of its iconic status, rises vertically to 5,560 feet. You can technically call him a fjord. Moreover, the Mitre Peak is in fact a closely grouped set of five peaks, however from most easily accessible viewpoints it appears as a single point. Thus, Milford Sound is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO.

The State Highway 94 is most scenic roads in New Zealand leads to Milford Sound. Every year, so many people make efforts to climb the Mitre Peak, which is not an easy job to do so. However, the first attempt was made in 1883 but could not successes due to bad weather. Therefore, in 1911 J R Dennistoun made next attempt to climb it, but eventually created lots of buzz among people, who claimed to have built a cairn on the peak to which he had fixed his handkerchief. 

Thus, the facts were confirmed later by successful climbers in 1914. There are six routes up to Mitre Peak, and most climbers start by getting a boat to Sinbad Bay. The track through the thick Fiordland bush is unmarked, the route above the bushline is hugely exposed and it’s a demanding mission regardless of how you tackle it. The Mitre Peak is a country of jaw-dropping Mountain, make it very special by tens of thousands of visitors arrive in Milford Sound each year. Milford Sound gets an astonishing 7 metres of rainfall each year. The Mitre Peak is a hugely demanding climb and one that should not be taken lightly.