Friday, April 30, 2010

On to Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu

When I finished up in Auckland I took a bus to Rotorua, an area known for its geothermal pools. This area is quite a tourist destination, and for good reason it is fascinating, but now that it is fall and being off season it's pretty quiet. My hotel, The Princes Gate originally built in the 1890's, is in the heart of town a block away from the information center where I was able to arrange for buses out to several amazing locations.

On tuesday it rained all day, it was in the low to mid 60's and wasn't cold. Knowing my time was limited I headed out to Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) to see the geothermal pools anyways. What a feast for the eyes. With so much volcanic activity the ground is literally belching steam and boiling mud.

This mud is supposed to be incredible for the skin and you see it sold in many shops. The mud is so hot it is boiling out of the ground in bubbles and sometimes big splashes.

The next stop was to see the Lady Knox geyser blow with the help of a little soap powder sprinkled down the hole.

At Wai-O-Tapu the earth and water are colored from mineral deposits and is has so many different colors.

This large crater had warm steam rising off it and had a pretty strong sulpher-y smell. Between the steam fogging up my glasses and the drizzling rain covering them with water droplets, I had to take off my glasses several times because I couldn't see.

The color was amazing, such vivid turqouise blue and orange ocher, it made my heart go pitter pat.

This pool of water is really florescent green, actually day-glo, it is hard to believe it is naturally this color, but it is!


  1. Wow! I love the colors and geology in these photos. Very inspiring. Looks like a good trip for you.

  2. What an amazing adventure you're having, Judy! Thanks so much for taking us along with you. I've always wanted to visit there, but I just don't think I'd survive that long flight. But your beautiful photos remind me that it might be worth it. Safe travels!

  3. gorgeous!! thanks for the travelogue.

  4. What an amazing place! I'm so glad you are enjoying your visit. You must tell us all about it on your return when we have the girls of May party.

  5. So fun to hear about your trip. What an adventure. Just wish I could go with you, but the next best is hearing your insights! Thanks for sharing. Great photos too!


  6. Thanks for sharing your photos -- the colors and geology are amazing. I never thought of New Zealand as Polynesian until I moved to Hawaii. I had always focused on it's colonized aspects. Now I know better and can see many similarities with Hawaii, like the language (Wai is water here too), and the volcanic influence. I haven't seen such amazing mineral colors here though as you are seeing there. Have a fantastic rest of your trip!!

  7. How lucky you are! Thanks so much for sharing!


  8. I went to NZ 11 years ago, and your photos have bought back many happy mempories. I hope to get back there again one day, in the meantime I shall just enjoy your photo's.

  9. Interesting !

    Un petit coucou from Switzerland.


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