Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland

People visit Rotorua New Zealand for a couple reasons but one of the big ones is to witness the geothermal activity. Driving into the area you will notice small clouds of smoke coming from the ground and the distinct smell of sulfur. The smell is almost everywhere but I get lucky when my chosen campsite doesn’t seem to have the strong scent. There are other disadvantages to camping there, which I will talk about later, but the smell is not one of them.

First on the agenda in town is to visit the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland which at the time of this post is currently closed for renovations. Luckily it is open while I am in town.

I arrive in time to see the geyser, Lady Knox Geyser, which is made to erupt daily at 10.15am.

A ranger puts a concoction in to stimulate an eruption. It can erupt on its own but to get a determined showtime they force it along. The size of the eruption can vary due to different weather conditions. Luckily today it put on a good show for us.

After the show it takes a while to get out of the parking lot since everyone is leaving at once.

Once inside the geothermal park I walk along a path and witnesses little areas of smoke and colored rocks due to all the different minerals.

I walk by some mud pools. Too hot to swim in but I bet that mud will make me look beautiful.

Finally I start reaching the pools with all the different colors such as this large Champagne pool.

I wander further and see some art along the trail.

While walking around I notice little bubbling pools of mud. They gurgle and I am sure they will burn to touch.

I come across a lake. It is nice and peaceful to rest there for a little while.

The yellow sign is not scary at all <sarcasm>.

I love the patterns on the ground.

More pools

There is a bright green pool … almost looks toxic.

At the end I end up a shopping fool at the gift shop. I buy everything mud and stock up on the moisturizing sunscreen that I love.

The visit is nice but it is time to head over to Whakarewarewa to learn about Maori culture. More on that later….

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