Thermal Pools

Rotorua Travel Blog

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Champagne pool at Wai-O-Tapu National Park
Yesterday we took off on the Jayride Rideshare Challenge.  After just a short weekend visiting Rod's family, it was time for our road trip to begin.  The goal: drive from Auckland down to Queenstown sharing rides the entire way.  The purpose of the challenge was to prove that no matter where you're going in New Zealand, there is always someone willing to share a ride.

My job was to photograph the challenge as well as travel destinations along the way.  My other job was to shoot stock images for Jayride for their future use.  Rod's job was to organize our passengers, promote the website, and blog our journey.

Our first stop was Rotorua where we visited the Wai-O-Tapu National Park.  They call this place a “thermal wonderland” as it's a national park showcasing the natural phenomena associated with thermal activity.  The highlight was the Champagne Pool, a turquoise pool nestled amongst hills billowing huge clouds of steam.

We thought we'd check out a local stream that Rod knew from experience was thermally heated.  He told us that few tourists knew the spot and it was a great place to quietly enjoy the outdoors in your very own private, and free, natural spa.

When we arrived we saw that he was right, there were no tourists and only a few locals.  We walked down to the stream and put our feet in – only to promptly take them right out.  Hot as hell!  We then started talking to a woman who was there with her family.  She told us that plenty of tour operators brought their bus loads of tourists in the winter, but, being summer, the water temperature just got too hot to enjoy.  No one could fully immerse one's body in this water.  I myself could barely stand to fully put my feet in let alone my torso.  

But no worries.  Later that night we decided to visit Rotorura's other famous destination: the Polynesian Spa.  Advertising seven thermal pools from the natural springs, the spa allowed us to pay for what we had hoped to find for free.  And thankfully I didn't have any trouble relaxing in the spa's many pools, although I was really only able to count five.  But how could I complain lounging in natural thermal waters under the night's sky?
oldschoolbill says:
Great Picture!!
Posted on: Feb 27, 2009
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Champagne pool at Wai-O-Tapu Natio…
Champagne pool at Wai-O-Tapu Nati…
photo by: Vanessa_Mun_Yee