Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 6-7, 2017 - Rotorua, NZ

Our first destination, after driving Paul to the Auckland airport to pickup his rental car, and to meet his step-mom, was Rotorua.  This region is famous for it's geothermal activity.  There are geysers and hot springs, bubbling warm mud pool, and even some geothermal power production plants.

As we drove into town it was quickly apparent that this town is a major tourist destination.  There are lots of hotels and activities.  Not far into town we saw steam rising above some trees next to the road.  It was coming out of the nearby rocks and we detected a faint whiff of sulfur in the air.

We drove around looking for a hotel.  It took 3 stops before we found a vacancy so we took it, as it was already about 6:30PM. 

In the morning we drove to Wai-O-Tapu park.  It is a geothermal wonderland.  It provided just about everything we had been told about;  boiling mud, a geyser, hot springs, hot mineral pools, and lots of steam.  The diversity of colors was beyond our expectations.

Boiling mud video.  The sulfur smell was very strong.

A geyser just as it starts to erupt.

Now at full strength.

Geyser going off behind us.  It is almost over.

Unbelievable water color in this pond.  It did not look real.

It is hard to explain just how amazing this is in person.

Even the "moss" on the trees is colorful.

The range of colors here is spectacular.  The sulfur smell adds to the experience.

The moss on the rocks has an amazing range of colors.

Cindy checks out the green water in "Devil's Bath".

After the park we went out to a geothermal pool that you could bathe in.  We did not do so, but we saw several people in the swimming pool, and several others in hot tubs.  The water next to the walkway was boiling hot and you could feel the heat in the air from it.

A steaming river running through the hills.

We then returned to Rotorui to visit the information center.  There we picked up a brochure about the Redwood forest and decided to go hike there for a few hours.  But first we went to a few places that the man at the front desk of our hotel suggested we see.  They are off the beaten path a bit, so most people don't know about them.

A geothermal feature in a park in the middle of town.  Rotorua, NZ

Steam coming out of the ground in someone's front yard.

Boiling water running right through this residential neighborhood.

A cool statue with steam boiling behind.  This is in
a residential area that most tourists never hear about.

A huge redwood tree.  I didn't even
know they existed in New Zealand.

Hiking in the redwood forest.  It was beautiful.

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