It certainly didn’t look as inviting when Frodo and Sam arrived in Mordor to cast The One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. But then, Peter Jackson had filmed that sequence of Return of the King in summer. Mt Ngauruhoe (pronouced Nara-ho-ee) in summer looks the part, a desolate volcanic wilderness that makes the perfect match for Mordor, and some CGI thrown in. But it’s in winter when Mt Ngauruhoe really sparkles, like a giant sugar cone. This classic volcano is, I reckon, New Zealand’s 2nd most beautiful volcano after Mt Taranaki. Situated in the World Heritage Area of Tongariro National Park between the volcanoes of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu on the Central Plateau, it erupted 45 times during the 20th century, most recently in 1977. I took the photo from the slopes of Mt Ruapehu, climbing an icy path above the nursery ski slopes to find a fantastic outlook over a valley and this mesmerising mountain. I slithered and slipped most of the way down, but it was worth it. Being such a photogenic volcano, I took many pictures, and here are a few more.