Thursday, 19 July 2012

Day 42 - Tuesday 17th July - Rotorua to Whakatane via Waiotapu

We woke to a glorious blue sky and no rain today, although this meant the eggy sulphur smelt worse!!

We drove south of Rotorua towards Taupo but stopped at Waiotapu Geothermal Field.

There is a geyser in the park here called the Lady Knox Geyser which they put washing powder into daily at 10:15am so that tourists can watch her perform.

What is a geyser I hear you say...well, for a good answer Google It!!! But my understanding is that it is a natural deep hole in the ground which connects to a deep underground reservoir. Due to the volcanic activity in the area the water in these is heated to boiling point which causes a pressure. The pressure builds up over a period of time and is then released suddenly causing a sudden eruption of water, like a fountain, but boiling hot. Amazing to watch it erupt!!

Lady Knox Geyser puffing away before an eruption

Lady Knox Geyser erupting 20m high

After watching the geyser we walked around the park seeing pools of multicolours, rivers and pools of sulphuric acid, multicoloured rocks especially lots of yellow sulphur deposits in the rock, steaming water and boiling mud.

Named the Artist's Palette due to the vast different colorations of water in the lake

Turquoise in the Artist's Pallette

Yellow in the Artist's Palette

The Champagne Pool note the different colours

A river of boiling water

A multicoloured rock

The Sulphur Cave

The steam rising from the river

The highlight was the fluorescent green pool of water, which was totally and utterly natural!!!! God created a colourful world.

Devil's Bath

Boiling Mud

The steaming boiling mud pool

After our tour of the geothermal fields we returned to Rotorua for lunch and to book a very exciting trip we plan to do tomorrow...WATCH THIS SPACE!

This afternoon we drove north to Whakatane with a stop at the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve for a walk along the river to see the Tutae's Falls and Tutae's Caves where Maori women and children used to hide out during the tribal wars.

Tutae's Falls

Path to Tutae's Caves

Tutae's Cave

Our day ended in Whakatane where we will hopefully (weather permitting!) go on an exciting adventure tomorrow!

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