Tama Saddle, Tongariro National Park

May 23, 2017
 

Despite living in New Zealand for the majority of my life, there's still a large chunk of North Island I've yet to see. While searching on Google Earth recently I stumbled upon two small lakes in Tongariro National Park called the Tama lakes (upper and lower) which I thought might be interesting to visit. The National Park which is situated in the middle of the North Island is well known for its 19km "Tongariro Crossing", which is one of the world's most popular day hikes and is a common destination for adventurous tourists at any time of the year. Upon some further research I found that the Tama Lakes walk isn't anywhere near as popular but offers a similar experience with equally beautiful views. I decided to drive up from Wellington on Monday afternoon, spend the night in my car then hike the Tama Saddle in the early morning.

I also knew this would be the perfect opportunity to shoot with the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 for the first time thanks to @tamronnz who said I could take it for a test drive to see what I thought of the ultra-wide zoom. Below are some of my favourite shots from the trip which took me around 7 hours in total. The National Park is notorious for its low temperatures during the winter time and I was faced with heavy rain and a track often covered in ice which is why I was forced go slow and take my time. I'd definitely recommend the Tama Saddle to anybody visiting New Zealand and wanting to avoid the more popular trails in the region.