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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Rotorua - Thermal Wonderland

Rotorua Museum, shuttered due to Earthquake damage
 As you leave the Coromandel peninsula you connect to the Bay of Plenty where KatiKati is part of. Further south you arrive at Taraunga Bay and head on Route 36 toward Rotorua. 

Obviously the north Island of New Zealand has lots of thermal releases and Hot Water Beach is but one example. Rotorua is the Capital of Thermal releases. It is every bit on par with Yellowstone National Park for sure. And it is well known for its Maori culture as well. Rotorua was where our micro-biologist friend had come to speak from Idaho.

Sandra has mapped out a number of must see places and I have my short list as well but first we check in at our motel, yes a culture of NZ and Aus, that is prominent here. In the parking lot of the motel is a vent stack, venting sulphur dioxide and steam. I notice the next place is as well. 

As we venture into the main centre of town the church, an Anglican ministry on the shores of Lake Rotorua, St Faith's 
St Faith's in the Distance
is riddled with thermal pools venting all around, steam coming from everywhere.

We then head to Kuira Park the main thermal park in town and again a proliferation of thermal pools.
We check out Government Centre, where the Museum is located. Unfortunately it has been closed since the last earthquake as it is considered unsafe until it is evaluated again. Beautiful old building that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip once visited in 1953. On the grounds is a Rose garden (Klamath). The roses are stunning but also huge and I get Sandra to make a fist so that you can compare size.

Day 2

Next we move onto the Redwood Forest, a similar recurrence of trees similar to the Redwoods of California, only these have fern trees interspersed in spots that make the grounds very beautiful.
New Zealand Redwoods

Row on Row

An Elevated Walkway through the Trees (Ewok style)

We then move on to having some fun. What is better than viewing thermal pools? Playing in them. So I had found a little known spot called Kerosene creek.
Kerosene Creek upstream
About 34 kms from Rotorua towards Old Waitapu, on a small gravel road. It's a hot springs creek with a waterfall. When we get there others have arrived as well but for some reason we get the main waterfall pretty much to ourselves. So we enjoyed ourselves until we got too hot which surprisingly didn't take long. It is really hot out there!

Brian @ Kerosene Waterfall

Sandra @ Kerosene Waterfall

Next on to the Thermal Wonderland park area where we encounter a really neat boiling mud pot. You need to click on the Youtube link to view just how active this mud pot is!

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