After my conference in Rotorua ended on Friday, Lee came down for the weekend!!! We booked tours on Saturday, here’s our morning activity, the amazing geothermal area of Wai-O-Tapu…

First stop, 5 minutes at the bubbling mud pits. Actually quite mesmerizing… If it hadn’t been raining so hard. 

Then on to the Lady Knox Geyser. 

Despite the big crowd with their over large umbrellas, the guy gave an interesting history of the site. This geyser is interesting in that it doesn’t normally erupt. There are a couple different layers of water, and normally the super-heated water is kept safely under ground by a layer of cooler water on top. But if you add soap to break the surface tension, as a group of prisoners washing clothes in the spring did about 100 years ago, 

And wait a few minutes…


Then on to the main attraction, the big geothermal park at Wai-O-Tapu. 

The tour brochure promised us one of the 20 most surreal places on earth. I don’t really know what surreal means, other than through examples from Kafka, Dali, and so on. Does finding yourself in a cafeteria and gift shop waiting for the rain to die down instead of oohing and aahing at hot springs count as surreal? Quite possibly yes. 

Luckily, they had rain ponchos for sale. Fortified with coffee and danish, off we went. 

Altogether we walked about 2 miles on nice trails. There were lots of craters and bubbling mud and steam. Some were especially bright colored, some not so much. The rain lessened and the sun peeked out. 

The very last pool on the loop was the most amazing green color… smart to put that one at the end! 

Most surreal? Maybe, maybe not, but still pretty cool. 

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