We set off for Tongariro on the 30th after stocking up with supplies for lunch from Bodyfuel. Great views as we drove south alongside the lake and later on of Mts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. We turned off to go to Whakapapa Village, which consists mainly of a very good info centre and the Bayview Chateau Tongariro. After hearing of the conditions on the mountains we bought some warm hats and gloves. Even better views of the mountains and a nice golf course in front of the chateau. A short distance further on the main road was the Discovery Lodge, our home for the next two nights and the only holiday park with views of the mountains.The nearest place to get any provisions for the next day was National Park Village, whose facilities were limited but it did have an outdoor gear shop where some overtrouserswere hired, and a nice restaurant the Station Cafe for dinner the following day. By the end of the day Jon and Mary had decided not to do the crossing,so the following morning it was Jane and Chris who were picked up at 7.25am and dropped off at the Mangatepo car park to trek the Tongariro Crossing. The first half of the trek up to the Red Crater (1886m) was done in mist, drizzle and increasingly strong freezing winds (we have never made a better purchase than the woolly hats the day before, which became coated in ice) over lava fields standing snow and ice, and very steep ridges. Fortunately while sheltering from the winds and having a lunch break (at 10.30am) overlooking the Emerald Lakes the clouds lifted and the magnificent lakes and mountain views were revealed. It remained clear for the rest of the trek which was completed in 7 hours including lunch breaks! Meanwhile Mary and Jon were busy exploring the impressive Tawhai falls and the Erua forest, renowned for native birdlife, but only revealed the kingfisher already seen at our lodge. They tried to buy a bottle of wine locally but this proved to be an impossible task. Fortunately the Station Cafe did have some very nice wine to accompany the excellent dinner that evening.