Sunday, April 27, 2014
We broke up the journey south with a overnight stay in Rotorua. It's a thermal hot-bed around there. Pardon the pun. The air is heavy with the smell of sulphur and even some of the town's roadside gratings emit steam. It is a place to ignite the imagination.
We visited Te Puia at Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley in the morning before the tourist hordes descended. I thoroughly recommend getting there for the 8am opening! Jed had learned about thermal areas and really wanted to see 'boiling mud'. Te Puia was perfect...lots of walking to the geo thermal areas, a kiwi house (first time some of us had seen them for real..always magic), and there are weaving and carving schools based there, which was cool to see. Sixty hectares of it!
So yes, boiling mud and geysers...tick, tick! It is an otherworldly sort of land.
I could just imagine dinosaurs through the steam. But then, I am a bit like that.
It was beautiful. Right after this photo was taken, I ran up to where these guys were and marvelled at a jet of steam coming out of a hole in the rock, right on the path. Taking my hand tentatively closer I said, 'Whoa, It is super SUPER hot' and some unnamed person put their hand straight into the hole. Doh! Some of us clearly need to figure things out for themselves hey?
It was a good adventure. One of the memorable ones for sure.