Looking down on the Emerald Lakes from the summit of the Red Crater is one of the highlights of hiking the Tongariro Crossing. These lakes are filled explosion craters, the bright colours are partly caused by the dissolved minerals washed down from the thermal area around them. The steam shows how active this volcanic region is. At times the steam is so active you can’t see the lakes from the summit. The summit of the Red Crater is the highest point of the hike at 1886 metres (6188 ft). On the left in the foreground you can see a few hikers walking down the volcanic scree. If you look closely to the left of the lakes are dozens of other people. The crossing is a day hike of 19.4km (or 12.1 miles). This active volcanic region is the Tongariro National Park in the central North Island and is New Zealand’s oldest national park.