Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rotorua - Geothermal Heaven!

Here we are in the city of Rotorua, a Geothermal wonderland! For those of you who don't know what a geothermal park looks like, then here goes: hot water geysers, sulphur lakes, hot mineral pools, and naturally formed craters that open into the Earth. Rotorua is also home to many volcanoes - extinct, dormant, or caved in.

Today we went to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. This park is home to much of the creations of the Geothermal activity and is most famous for their Lady Knox Geyser. It only goes off once a day at 10:15 AM. There were a lot of craters! Either made by explosions or by something that caved in. We also saw something called The Champagne Pool, a sulphur pool with lots of colours in it. There were lots of sulphur lakes made by caved in Earth. There was this really cool pool that had lime green liquid!

We also got to see the mud pools. In my opinion they were kind of creepy! The mud would be calm and then all of a sudden it would bubble up a little.

You can see geothermal activity not only in Wai-O-Tapu, but just go to the city park! If you're driving down the road, you'll see smoke rising from the streets because the city park has steam vents.

After Wai-O-Tapu, we continued our Geothermal day by going to Waikite Valley Thermal Pools (don't worry I can't pronounce Waikite either). It was like Hamner Springs (see earlier blog)except less crowded and much smaller. When you walked down to the office, you get to see the place where they get their hot water and you can see it tumbling down into the different pools. There are various pools with different temperatures. There are also private spas but we didn't get to see them. It was very warm and fun.

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