Today we signed up to do the Tongariro crossing which is a 7 hour hike up a very steep mountain through dormant volcanoes. The weather was perfect and the hike was hell but well worth it! First hurdle was the devils stairs which is basically volcanic rocks we had to climb up and over. When you finally reach the top you look down into the flattened crater of the volcanoe. You walk through this then up another steep hill where teh scenery changes from dry and baron to dusty and sandy. When you get to the top you look down into emerald lakes. You then go up another hill and over where the landscape changes to grassy and lush, then from there you walk through a forest and finally reach the end. We did it in just under 7 hours and all felt very pleased to have survived. Stew arranged for a BBQ at the hostel as it was his last night with us and we all headed to bed early.