Tag: Geyser

Exploring Rotoura’s Geothermal Wonderland

The author braving herself to cross a boardwalk full of stinky, hot, sulfurous steam.

Traveling to New Zealand provided ample opportunity to enjoy ethereal landscapes. Part of my draw to visiting the North Island was the geothermal activity present there. After living on Big Island and in Yellowstone National Park, I guess you could say I’m drawn to places with active volcanoes!

New Zealand’s north island is brimming with active volcanic activity! Once we set foot in Rotoura, roughly 3 hours south of Auckland, that old, familiar smell infiltrated our noses: sulfur. Sulfur smells like rotten eggs, and is part of the gasses given off by the volcanic activity in the region.

We decided to visit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotoura to get up close and personal with some otherworldly geothermal landscapes. It was a rainy day indeed, but it didn’t stop us from marveling at the region’s clouds of steam, rock formations, waterfalls, and lakes the park is known for.

Here are some photo highlights of the diverse volcanic area:

One of well over a dozen volcanic craters on the property. Craters can be up to 20 meters deep.
Sulfur vents and bubbling pools are typical in this park.
A bubbling mud pool.
Β A steaming pond. The water is so hot, it could burn the skin right off you.
Ehren marveling at steam emitting from a geothermal pool.
We were surprised to witness steam coming out of the ground!
The park’s famous Artist’s Palette. The orange color is due to trace mineral deposits which are distributed by the direction of the wind. Orange is Atimony/Arsenic.
A lookout provided a nice view of the surrounding area.
Our payoff view after hiking nearly 2 miles in the pouring rain. We loved the waterfall and the color of the pool. This blueish hue is Alkalai-chloride.
One of the last otherworldly geothermal pools. The green/yellow is said to be Sulphur/Arsenic.

We were happy to experience the Geothermal Wonderful of Wai-O-Tapu. Next time, we’ll be sure to come back to witness the famous Lady Knox Geyser, whose eruption can reach up to 20 meters!