We set off down south at 8am and its about a 4 hour drive. We’re staying at the Kuirau Lodge which is about a 10 minute walk to the centre of town across a geo-thermal area. Immediately we notice the sulphur smell and as we approach our Lodge we see steam coming out of the drains down the street: strange land indeed. Our accommodation is really large and pleasant with a sitting area and kitchen as well as ensuite. Out the back there’s a swimming pool that’s geo-thermally heated, just like a warm bath, and we make full use of it during our stay. We pop into town and look round the market, then decide to head for Wai-o-Tapu. It’s about 20km further south and covers quite a large area, with walking paths laid out so you can’t wander off into the hot spots. There are bubbling mud pools and steam coming out of cracks in the earth everywhere we look. There’s an emerald green lake and a bright lime green lake but best of all is the Champagne Pool which is large, very deep and boiling hot with tiny bubbles rising to its surface. At its periphery the various chemicals in the water are deposited in layers: white, orange and green.
|It really is lime green|
|At the edge of Champagne Pool|
|Swimming at Kerosene Creek|
|Steaming cliffs at the edge of Lake Rotomahana|
|Whakarewarewa living village|