I think it's compulsory to do the "Tongariro Alpine Crossing" when you are on the North Island of New Zealand. So I followed suit. This busy track leads you through volcanic terrain between the volcanoes Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. Tongariro last errupted in 2012 sending a shower of rocks up to 1m in diameter over the track. Of of the rocks hit the (thankfully empty) Ketetahi huts and went straight through the roof, the bunk bed and the floor.
When there is a mountain I want to climb it. Ngauruhoe was my first goal. The ascent is about 900m which is not particularly much. But my heavy backpack (this is a bad habit of mine to always carry a lot!) and especially the track that mainly consisted of loose gravel made it a mission. You feel like you are taking one step forward and going two back. But eventually I managed. Unfortunately there was not much of a few. Only very briefly did the clouds open up a tiny bit to give me an idea what the view could be like.
This is an active volcanic area. The video above is not a time lapse - this is real time. And the sulfur smell gives it a nice extra touch;-)