Geothermal Wonders and Expensive Island Paradise

Otaki Travel Blog

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Sulphur Pools Wai-u-Tapu

For those follwing, after naked man in a hot pool I spent the next day having geothermal fun. First I went to Wai-au-Tapu (probably wrong spelling) and its kind of like hell on hearth. Bubbling mud pools, huge lime green pools that looked like toxic waste but were naturally occuring sulphur and other mineral lakes. Big long boardwalks through more bubbling orange, green and yellow, spitting and steaming pools. Super cool. Also a big geyser erupting (like old yeller) and really nice views of a mars like landscape. Crazy colours, wonderful sulphur smell, ha ha. And I met a nice canadian girl who I hung around with later that day.

After Wai-au-Tapu I went to Waimanga, which is the worlds youngest geothermal ecosystem. A volcanic valley created a little over 100 years ago, its surrounded by huge hills created by lava flows, covered in thick tropical foliage and most of them, emitting steam from between the trees.
Bubbling mud pools
Saw a big sulphuric lake, temp 50celcius and ph of 3.5, steaming and bubbling away. Steaming being to coolest part. Basically the lake looked like that perfect foggy morning when mists cover a lake, picture perfect... only the mist was very hot and the lake was bubbling.  Very cool. I also saw a wallaby (in New Zealand, freaky) less then 3 feet away on the side of the trail. This filled my need for a mammal, any mammal. Im getting all birded out! However, there was a bird sanctuary within said park so I got to see a Little Shag, Australasian Shoveler, and baby cygnets of a black swan family which was really cool. Also lots of diving dabchicks in a freaky red-algae covered lake. All around, a really good day. Finished up with a walk around the waterfront of Lake Rotorura, a free and wonderful trek in itself and then washed my clothes since I was smelling manky.
Sulphuric Cascade, Waimangu


Im staying in otaki now with Deirdre Kent (retired hobby gardner) and her husband Malcom.  A beautiful farm, a lovely couple and wonderful dinner to start. Not to mention my own room filled with really interesting books (including "The Prophet"  which makes me very happy).

Now,  I am in Parapaumu... (or some word close to that) at an internet cafe. Deidres Net went down so I wont be able check my emails for the next little bit. On wednesday I am going to Lavender Creek Farm in the same area for a week, so play with essential oils and have a relaxed time in a nice little area. I went to Kapiti Island for a day trip today. I saw a kaka, weka, NZ Pipit and a brown skink. The kaka came so close I could have grabbed it (I got great pictures!). Kapiti island was $9 for a permit, $45 for the ferry ride over and its going to be a $20 bus ride back (despite the fact that it is a 15 minute bus trip, literally). For all that money,( it was a coupleof nice veiws, birds....etc), my feeling is that after a week on tiri-tiri I should have skipped it. Lovely, it really was, but I am getting bored with NZ wildlife. There, I said it! The forests here are actually a little odd in the sense that there are no deer, no fox, bear, moose, or even a bloody chipmunk! Bring on the cheeky little buggers! Just birds where they have gotten rid of the rodents, and just rodents where they've eaten the birds. Canada has spoiled me. I want to play with a toad! Ontario must be crawling with the things. Give me a toad that is not endangered and on some tiny expensive island that allows limited numbers of people only. Let me grab it with my hands! This is what conservation should be about "Canada, watch out, or you'll end up like new zealand". We are halfway there now. The "wildlife" here is sort of boxed up and marketed to the hilt, and its necessary of course to conserve the area, but I miss wide open spaces and little nooks of the world that nobody knows about but you.

Honestly, Ive only been here a month so I should tough it out and stop being so spoiled... but I miss the natural mammals in Canada. So I will be getting to the South island some time early in June so I can settle for spectacular scenery, LOTR geekdom, and penguins. I cant get enough of penguins. Or LOTR geekdom which I feel I should break out any time now. Probably in Wellington. :)

speedostar says:
just curious, i saw the post in the forum, did you ever meet a travel buddy here who went with you on this trip to NZ. i am just really curious if it works by just posting on the forum. thanks for the tips based on your experience
Posted on: Jan 29, 2008
cneoridium says:
Mammals, schmammals! You saw a tuatara!
Posted on: May 12, 2007
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Sulphur Pools Wai-u-Tapu
Sulphur Pools Wai-u-Tapu
Bubbling mud pools
Bubbling mud pools
Sulphuric Cascade, Waimangu
Sulphuric Cascade, Waimangu
Otaki
photo by: sissanoel