If you manage to only do one hike during your visit to New Zealand, make sure it is the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island. It is considered New Zealand's best 1-day hike and in many circles it is considered one of the best in the world.
As you pass in the shadow of you can understand why Peter Jackson chose this location to be the dreaded Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings. It is an easy side trip to climb Mount Ngauruhoe, it ony adds an extra 3 hours to your day trip.
Unfortunately The doesn't give it's passengers the option to climb the other volcano as they have the bus meet you at the other end in exactly 6 hours; the amount of time recommended to do the crossing.
Since I love taking photos, 6 hours was barely enough to scratch the surface of the magnificent photo opportunities. However, I did my best at capturing the beauty of the mountain and the terrain of this rugged hike. There are steps and scrambles, trails and pathways as you make your way across this famous pass.