We are joined on our adventure by two more Cookies! Cookie’s Mum and Dad ( if you didn’t already guess ;) ) Anne & Eric. And today as part of our ‘Christmas Holiday’ from walking we’re exploring all the thermal excitement Rotorua has to offer!
Yey Mum & Dad have come to visit :) Our original plan was to meet up much closer to Christmas, but the weather forecast looks well shitty.. so seemed sensible to meet up now and do some touristy things and day walks while it’s a bit rainy.
…and they’re not kidding when they warn you about the eggy smell! Haha! Woa that’s powerful…
Ah Rotorua, this place was a full-on tourist town, much more so that I was expecting. Couldn’t bring ourselves to lay down the 200-400 odd dollars (for a family of 4) to see the towns geothermal delights. So had a quick look at the free stuff then moved on fairly sharpish.
Some wicked steamy pools of all sorts of colours here. They feel almost alien to look at. You’re imagining what bizarre undiscovered creatures could spring up at you from the depths of the earth. You get walls of hot sauna steam hit your skin, followed by gusts of icy wind. Very odd sensation. Interesting though!
We couldn’t leave the area without seeing some real geothermal action, so we decided to spend our dollars on Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland! My mum reckoned “it’s got a more colourfull brochure than the others”. I agree, it wasn’t quite on par with Yellowstone, but maybe my yard stick is too hard to beat..
Champagne Pool pictured is one of it’s star attractions. With a crater 65m in diameter and a depth of approximately 62m, this is one pretty huge and impressive hot spring!
Continuing the sci-fi / alien world theme, this lake wouldn’t look out of place with Captain Kirk fighting some bikini-clad alien chick in the background. The pool’s actually called Devil’s Bath. The yellow-green neon sulphur bubbling up from deep in the earth giving the water it’s awesome colour.
Whoa, I’ve never seen water such a ‘warning toxic chemicals, I will melt your flesh’ colour before.. Actually the background colour of our blog clashes, looks much greener in real life!
It’s just awesome to watch. Mud that moves and plops about is endlessly mesmerising. I don’t know why :D Each mud hole has it’s own personality. Some aggressive, some pathetic, and a few comedians on there as well. Can I get one for my garden please?
After all that sulphur one needs a hearty luncheon! And this my friends was by far the best yet. Two giant chunks of tasty fish aboard a raft of vinegary chips. Oh my god I’m dribbling just thinking about it. ‘The Legend’ in the pic: a local rodeo star hero pinned up on the wall of the pub. We just liked the cut of his jib.
Yep best fish and chips to date, fish to batter ratio much better with nice big chunks of fish. Cheese on top of the salad too, oh yes. Happily return to the Waiotapu Tavern for more :)
A bit of a walk this arvo up Rainbow Mountain to stretch the legs. The volcanic rocks come in burgundy, orange, purple, yellow, grey, green, white and black. Hence the name I guess ;) Sweet view from the top too.
Not an amazingly interesting walk, but I had read about a nice hot spring nearby called Kerosene Creek, sadly the trail down to it was closed.. Due to leg melting chemicals, who knows?