トンガリロ国立公園(Tongariro Northern Circuit)


Tongariro National Parkの有名なトレイルであるTongariro Northern Circuitを歩いた記録。2日目の天気が思わしくなく、Mt.NgauruhoeとMt.Tongariroの登頂を諦めざるを得なかったのは残念。

Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's oldest national park and is the first in the world to be designated as a UNESCO dual world heritage site, which means this place has great significance both naturally and culturally. This area is known for its moon-like landscape, which was created by volcanic activity and erosion by glaciers.

The track I walked is the Tongariro Northern Circuit. This route makes a loop around three famous volcanoes – Mt. Ruapehu, Mt Nagauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro – and is listed as one of the seven Great Walks in NZ.

It's indeed regrettable that I couldn't climb Mt. Nagauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro because of the terrible weather on the second day, but the vast expanse of rugged terrain was truly amazing, and it was well worth the visit.

  • 1月14日



I took a train to Tongariro National Park from Auckland. Train fares are so expensive in NZ. It cost me 90 NZ$ to buy the ticket online. That said, since it is the only public transportation that goes directly to Tongariro, and because I personally like to travel by rail, I accepted it.

We are your national rail business - KiwiRail




I could see an endless expanse of meadows through the train window.

過密路線でもないのに列車は遅れているようだ。Kiwi Rail は移動手段というよりは観光手段のようだから、時間が遅れようとあまり問題はないのだろうか。つまり快適な座席に座り、綺麗な車窓を眺め、美味しい珈琲を飲んで・・・というような一連の素敵な「体験」を提供することが主であって、極論を言えば本来の目的であるはずの「移動」は二の次なのかもしれない。

結局、予定より1時間遅れてNational Park駅に着いた。

Rail lines in NZ are not congested by trains, but for some reason, my train arrived at National Park Station an hour later than scheduled. I think Kiwi Rail has become a sightseeing tool rather than a means of transportation. It seems passengers don't care so much even if their train is late. Sitting in a comfortable seat, drinking coffee and sometimes going to the observation car to see the scenery, it looks like they are enjoying the journey by rail itself and moving to the destination comes second.


National Park 駅の可愛い駅舎と周囲の風景は何となくJR豊肥本線阿蘇駅を思い出させる。阿蘇駅は2011年に改修を経て、今では重厚な黒塗りの駅舎になっている。けれども僕が高校2年の夏休みに友人と九州鉄道旅行の最中に立ち寄ったときは、まだウェスタン風のいかにも高原リゾートというような可愛い駅舎だった。そういえばあの時は、神戸港からフェリーさんふらわあに乗って大分港に着き、それから九州横断特急に乗り継いで最初の目的地が阿蘇だった。 もう5年半も前になるのか・・・懐かしい。

National Park Station reminded me of the former Aso Station in Japan. Aso is also a volcanic area and has the largest crater in the world. Believe it or not, there are railways and towns inside the Aso crater, and a lot of people have been making a living there. Aso Station went through renovation in 2011, and has changed into a stately black building, but when I visited there with one of my friends during a trip to Kyushu region by rail, it still was a small and cute white building that showed some influence from Western-style architecture. I was still a high school student back then, and I cannot help missing those days.


話は戻ってNational Parkの駅から登山口のWhakapapa villageまでの交通だが、何も手段がないのでヒッチハイクを試みた。考えてみれば自分から積極的にヒッチハイクをすることは初めてだ。深呼吸をして、緊張しながら意を決してようやく何度か親指を立てようとするが、それもなかなか勇気が出なくて何台かやり過ごす。やっとのことで何度か親指を立てるも、生憎無情に通り過ぎて行く車を前にして惨めな気持ちが募る。そして照りつける日光がきつい。

After getting off the train, since there was no means of transportation, I tried hitchhiking from the station to Whakapapa Village, the starting point of the hike. I was extremely nervous because it was my first time to hitchhike in my life, and I couldn't pluck up the courage to stick out my thumb for a long time. I took a deep breath, gathered up all my courage and made the sign, but, unfortunately, 10 or more cars just passed by and I felt really miserable.

30分が経過した。少し泣きそうになってきたその時、ふと一人の女性旅行者が僕の方に歩いてきた。ちょうど彼女も同じくWhakapapa village まで行くところだったので一緒にヒッチハイクすることになった。

Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed since I started to try. I felt helpless and was about to cry. At that moment, a woman traveler walked up to me, and because our destination happened to be the same, we decided to try hitchhiking together.

仲間がいると少し心強い。そして、程なくして乗せてくれる車が見つかった。運転手はハンター風の格好いいおじちゃん。Whakapapa VillageのDOCビジターセンターまで連れて行ってくれた。

It's encouraging to have a companion. After a while, we succeeded and got a ride to the Whakapapa Village DOC visitor center. Thank you so much, driver!!


I cooked noodles as breakfast & lunch (surprisingly I hadn’t eaten anything until 4:00 pm that day), left some unnecessary luggage at the visitor center, and started walking. 


僕が今回歩くトラックはTongariro Northern Circuit と呼ばれるニュージーランドで最も人気のあるコースの一つである。けれども、歩き始めたのが午後5時だったので人影は全く無くて至って静かだ。徐々に沈んで行く日を左手に見ながら、開けた灌木帯を歩く。


I started walking at around 5:00 pm. It’s difficult to imagine departing that late in Japan, but since New Zealand has a long daytime in summer (they have summertime!!), the sun does not set until 9:00 pm, so I still had enough time left to walk. I walked along a well-maintained track, although sometimes it was a little damp, through shrubland to a campsite near the Mangadepopo Hut.


Manuka(Tea Tree) 学名:Leptospermum scoparium

蜂蜜の蜜源として知られている。Manuka Honeyは特にピロリ菌対策に効果があるということで人気がある。保湿クリームの原料として使われているのもよく目にする。


 Heather 学名:Calluna vulgaris


Pests and weeds: Tongariro National Park


学名:Hebe Venustula 


Mt.Pukekaikiore(1692m), Mt.Tongariro(1967m)



Just before reaching Mangatepopo Hut, I pushed through the bush to the foot of Mt. Pukeonake, laid out a mattress and slept there. According to DOC, camping is not permitted within 500m of any track except at designated campsites. However, I thought this rule can also be interpreted as "You can enjoy camping freely only if you are more than 500m away from any of the track," so I put it into practice. Later, I thought I was too ridiculous to think this way. Taking it into consideration that the original objective of the rule is to protect the fragile vegetation and soil, I admit it doesn't make sense to trample them under foot for about 500m, even if literally speaking there's nothing wrong. 



I was born and brought up in Japan, so I cannot go without Asian food. I found Japanese udon noodles sold at Countdown, a major supermarket chain in NZ, and bought a lot to eat up in the mountain. They are easy to cook and nutritious. I have only to boil them together with vegetables, mushrooms and bacon.


Before the sun set, I read a novel "And Then (Sorekara)" written by Natsume Soseki. The words that Daisuke, a central character of this book, told his old friend, Hiraoka, is really selfish and even disgusting, but I was stunned to find that I have some traits in common with him. 

First, he attributes the reason he doesn't work to the wrong social structure. Second, he has already given up changing society and wants to stay away from it. And lastly, while he looks down on people who are working as victims swallowed up by society, he himself has to financially rely on them to live – this is contradictory.


Of course, I am quite different from Daisuke, too. Daisuke may be satisfied with his life as a drifter, receiving money from his parents, appreciating the arts, and being a speculative thinker. He might have wished that this kind of life would continue forever (although this was applicable to him only before he became so much in love with Michiyo, the wife of his old friend, Hiraoka). On the other hand, I am more positive than him. The point is that I am too worried that I will lose something. Deep down, I want to work, and I hope that my work will have great value in its own right and can be valued by society besides being a way to make a living. Also, I want to have a warm and happy home with a person I love. In short, I am a dreamer and don't want to sacrifice anything, regardless of whether it is work, family life or myself, and just because of that, I cannot move forward.


If I join a company or become a public official, I don’t think I can play an important role there because I am not so good at getting along with others. Also, rushed by everyday work, my job may easily become nothing but a way of making money. Long working hours can result in sacrificing family life. In the end, what will be left? I’m afraid working can lead to losing everything important to me.


I think the ultimate reason why I took a year off from university was that I was too cowardly to make a decision for the future, and wanted to be told forever "You have infinite possibilities".

それから (新潮文庫)

それから (新潮文庫)



And Then: Natsume Seoseki's Novel Sorekara

And Then: Natsume Seoseki's Novel Sorekara



  •  1月15日

この日の朝は酷い天気だった。視界がほとんど無い中、強風が吹き付ける。特にSouth Craterのあたりは真っ直ぐ歩くのが困難な凄まじい風が吹いている。そして風に吹き付けられた砂がビシバシと体を打ち付ける。岩陰に退避して行動食を食べたり服を着込んだりして何とかやり過ごした。もともと予定していたMt. NgauruhoeとMt. Tongariroの登頂なんて冗談じゃないので高速で通過した。それでも出会った人の多くは"The weather is quite nice, isn't it?" なんて言っていた。そういうのがこっちの人のユーモアだよなぁと思った。

The weather was awful in the morning. There was little visibility and it was extremely windy. It was hard to walk straight, and small particles of sand were blowing in my face. I escaped behind a rock, put on warm clothes, ate some food, and managed to make it through. I was originally planning to climb Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro, but there was nothing to do but give up those plans under conditions like that. 




 学名:Euphrasia cuneata


学名:Parahebe hookeriana


Emerald Lakesまで降りてきた時に漸く徐々に視界が晴れてきた。

After descending to Emerald Lakes, the visibility improved, although the wind was still strong.




Emerald Lakeから下は、おびただしい量の溶岩で埋め尽くされている。噴火の凄まじさを物語っている。 

The track below the Emerald Lake cuts through vast amount of old lava flow, and it shows us the tremendous energy of the eruption.






After a while, Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Nagauruhoe finally appeared from the cloud.




Mt. Nagauruhoe is only 7,000 years old. The rugged old lave flow seen in the pictures above came from this mountain when it erupted.



Mt. Ruapehu looks like Mt. Chokai in Japan's northeast. Ruapehu still has a lot of snow on top of it. As a Japanese, I cannot help looking for "Yukigata", a Japanese word which means the shapes of snow patches left on the mountain surface. People in the past thought that such shapes look like men, animals, farming tools and so on, and gave a name to conspicuous ones. Farmers in Japan used to have a custom of using Yukigata as an important sign. The appearance of Yukigata in spring meant that the time has come to plant rice seed, beans, and so on.

Mount Chōkai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yukigata – Snow Patterns – Omachi Tourism Guide

Activites of International Yukigata Research Group, International Snow Service Workshops (ISSW) Proceedings professional paper or poster talk citation record. - Montana State University Library


Gentian 学名:Gentianella bellidifolia






トンガリロ国立公園の地形は火山活動と氷食の影響を受けて作られている。Waihohonu HutからWhakapapa Villageまでの間の谷沿いに見られる小規模な丘は、氷河によって側面に追いやられた土砂や岩屑が堆積したモレーンであるという。

After Waihohonu Hut, the track goes along Waihohonu stream. Barren landscape and small moraine hills along Waihohonu stream are the testimony that glacier once covered the area. 


延々と歩き続けて、午後8時頃、Taranaki‘Fallにたどり着いた。すると、一人の逞しい髭を持ったお爺さんが道沿いにテントを張って、寝転がってコーヒーを飲んでいた。幕営は禁止のはずなんだけど・・・と思ったけれど、昨日の自分の行動を考えると同じようなものだと思って何も言わなかった。そういう注意はもっと偉くて潔白な人の口から発せられるべきであるし、自分もそうならなくてはならないと思った。Taranaki FallからWhakapapa Villageまでは一時間の道のりだ。その途中でまた2人組の女性に会う。時間的に明らかにおかしいので「Hey,where are you going? It's really late now.」と言うと少し気まずそうな顔をしながら「We are going to camp.」と答えた。この時間から考えて、おそらく同じくTaranaki Fallに幕営予定なのだろう。そして、あの狭い場所にお爺さんと若い女性旅行者2人が一緒にテントを張って寝ることを考えてちょっとおかしくなって、まぁ好きにすればいいんじゃないかと思った。

I walked for a long, long time on that day, and arrived at Taranaki Fall at 8:00 in the evening (it still was not dark, though). I saw an old man with luxuriant beard there, putting up a tent and drinking coffee. As I mentioned above, camping is not allowed here, but when I thought of what I did the day before, I felt I was not qualified to warn him. I thought I must have morals afterwards so that I can warn someone who is doing a wrong thing without hesitation.

Whakapapa Villageに着いた頃には日が落ちていた。結局今日は15時間歩いたことになる。お疲れさま、自分。

It was after 9:00 pm that I came back to Whakapapa Village. The sky was already dark, and I found that I had walked over 15 hours that day.

DOCビジターセンターに着き、例によって煮込みうどんを作っていると、DOCの職員が出てきて、「Are you going to sleep here?」 と聞くので「Yes, I'd like to sleep here.」 と答えると、苦笑いしながら「良いよ」と言ってくれた。その苦笑いに何か同業者意識みたいなものを感じて、親しみが沸いた。

When I got back to the DOC visitor center and was cooking udon noodles just like the previous day, a DOC staff came out and asked, "Are you going to sleep here?" I felt a little nervous but said "Yes, I would like to sleep here". He said OK with a bitter smile on his face. I felt really warm because I could see he understood my situation, and also tolerant enough to let me do as I like.


  • 1月16日


I had a really good sleep there, and the next day, started to hitchhike again heading to my next destination, Taranaki.



Thank you so much, Michel, for offering me a ride and letting me stay at your home.  I will never forget about your kindness. You helped me wash clothes, prepare breakfast and shared interesting stories in your life with me. Although it was only a short period, I had a really good time with you.