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tongariro circuit reopened by late december?

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Hi,

I will have 10 days in NZ in late december this year. I was initally torn between tongariro and routeburn tramps, watched all the videos etc and was leaning towards tongariro, mostly becuase how unique and different the scenery looked to anything i'd seen in canada... then the volcano erupted... i see that part of the track is now reopened and saw a news reports saying they are hoping to reopen by the summer. should i still keep this in mind, or save it for the next time? is routeburn equally impressive for those who have done both?

if we focused on the south island alone could even squeeze a bit of the queen char also. i've spent a month in NZ a few years ago, traveled extensively but never got to do any hiking, now were taking a side trip from a visit to Aus just for that.

thanks for the feedback

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