Situated on a big lake Rotorua is one of the top touristy areas of New Zealand. The town’s hot and steamy thermal activity and healing mineral pools attracts a lot of people all year round.
The smell of rotten eggs of hydrogen sulphide gas is not so pleasant but the thermal reserves with its geysers is fascinating. At the visitor center we decided to visit Te Puia and the next day Wai-O-Tapu with its champagne pool.
Next to geysers (world famous Pohutu geyser), mud pools and a kiwi house, Te Puia had a Maori village with a Meeting House and carving/weaving school. On our tour around the reserve we met a Canadian girl we had already talked to at the visitor center. So we spent the rest of the day together. After all this smelly attack against our nose and senses we decided to walk around the Redwood Forest with its impressive trees.
The next day we drove to Wai-O-Tapu, the Thermal Wonderland south of Rotorua. Wai-O-Tapu means sacred waters and the colourful and diverse volcanic area was really stunning. The area of 18 sq.km at the volcanic dome of Maungakakaramea is covered with collapsed craters, boiling mud pools and steaming fumaroles. With the different mineral elements you got a crazy colour mix.
Especially the champagne pool and the Devil’s Ink Pots with its red and green colours was amazing. The bird’s nest crater is a perfect nesting area and the heat rising up the walls incubates the eggs. How great nature can be.
After a great day we drove around the coastline of Lake Taupo on our way to the west coast.