Geysers, Coloured pools, bubbling mud and that sulphur smell
Rotorua Travel Blog› entry 25 of 41 › view all entries
We arrived into Rotoura not really knowing what to expect after stories of gang warfare, that smell and just so many tourists. The smell of eggs hit you as you entered the town, but it wasn´t quite enough to be sick inducing. We checked into our hostel, which was very cosy and had central heating- a first for New Zealand and its so cold. We had to do Rotorua in a day and there seemed to be so much to do, we grasped some local knowledge and a couple of maps and planned the day.
We drove to Te Puia (sp?) which was a tourist attraction site not normally on our budget or our cup of tea, but we decided to be proper tourists for once. Even though it was slightly damp underfoot it was worth the money. We saw the Prince of Wales geyser errupting, a natural erruption rather than the geysers where they stuff soap powder down them and were treated to a maori show and a great deal of mud pools and steam. Its just so amazing to see the ground that we think of as so stable to be bubbling and steaming at every turn.
After our action packed morning it was a quick lunch back at the hostel (peanut butter and cheese of course) and then off to a thermal wonderland in the afternoon. This was my favourite bit of the day, its a huge place to walk around and the mineral deposits have created a wealth of colour all around the edges of the water. The steam from the rain we had earlier slightly obscured the view, but we still managed to get the photos we wanted.
We had more than spent our budget for the day so we went to the free places after that. We saw some more bubbling mud in one of the park reserves which was actually a lot bigger and better than the ones we paid for. I could sit and watch bubbling mud all day I find it so soothing and fascinating. We headed onto Kerosene creek, a stream of hot water with a waterfall which acts as a sort of spa. Sam jumped into the waterfall and had a great time paddling, but us girls were too cold by then to even think of stripping off.
After a packed day there was one more thing to do. We got our free coffees and cake from a cafe in town and went to the Polynesian spa. It wasn´t very expensive and you had quite a few pools to choose from all of varying temperatures. The pool we went for faced right onto the lake ( next to a dangerous thermal area sign!). There was somethign very surreal about sitting in a very hot pool at night with the rain falling on your head. We had to keep on leaping onto the side because it was too hot and we eventually moved into the colder pools. They had warned us about silver jewellery turning black and I had forgotten to take my ring off. When we came out it had gone a metallic black which looked quite good and I was a bit disappointed when it faded away ( I am not sure how pleased I would have been if it was an expensive ring).