Oh, noes! Mt. Doom!
And the other Mt. Doom!
Actually, both Mt. Ngauruhoe (first picture) and Mt. Ruapehu (second picture) 'played' Mt. Doom in the LOTR movies. Most of the action was filmed on or around Mt. Ruapehu, but Mt. Ngauruhoe looks more like a perfect volcano (although both are active) so it got most of the good shots.
Ruapehu is supposed to erupt sometime in the near future, but it was Mt. Tongariro (the peak on the left) that actually did yesterday afternoon. No one was hurt, but there's a famous 'trek' called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that takes about 8 hours to complete and is very popular that had to be evacuated after the eruption. It was very exciting around here yesterday.
We take the tour of the filming locations tomorrow afternoon. Should be very exciting, although Frodo's afraid it will set off his PTSD.
A couple of days ago I visited Rotorua. Rotorua is home to numerous steam vents. . .
. . .and hot springs. The town smells like sulfur, although I didn't find the smell at all unpleasant. And I had a wonderful lamb and spinach salad at The Pig & Whistle pub. Yum!
And here is proof that it is spring here.