From Rotorua I headed about 25km south to Rainbow Mountain where I hiked to the top for a beautiful view of the surrounding areas.
The area of New Zealand which I am currently travelling through is one of the most active volcanic areas in the world which is quite cool, because every here and there you can see steam rising from the forest and weird coloured lakes or just small bubbling mud pools.
I headed down the mountain and further down the road and onto a dirt track for about 2km and arrived at Kerosene Creek which is this beautiful stream and hot springs waterfall, and oh yeah, because of the volcanic activity the area is also littered with hot springs, quite awesome. I set up my tent and started fixing dinner when this grumpy Maori guy showed up and told me I couldn’t camp there, so I had to quickly pack my stuff again. Didn’t even have time to go for a proper swim or take any photos because it was already dark. But this girl Danielle and her mom just came by for a swim so they gave me a ride and we went to a nice spot by a lake for the night. Next morning though we were told to leave pretty early because 200 people were coming in for some event.
From there I headed south a few kilometres until I got to Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, a commercial thermal area. I usually don’t like paying for these things but I find this stuff really interesting so I went in and had a walk looking at all the craters and bubbling lakes and the amazing champagne pool which is this green coloured really deep pool with orange edges and water bubbling like champagne and steam rising! Afterwards I looked up this well hidden hot spring waterfall in the area for a quick dip then I went over and looked at a huge mud pool spluttering and making weird sounds. From there I got a ride to Wakite Valley Thermal Pools which is a hot pools complex with 6 different hot pools between 35-42 degrees Celsius, they are fed directly from a huge hot spring sprouting out 50 litres of boiling water every second. You can also camp next to the complex and get unlimited use of the pools for only 16 $ which I did, chilling in the pools most of the evening. Today I will try to go back to Kerosene Creek before I continue south towards Taupo.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
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FYI Simon, I think your NZ travel book is gonna sell WAY better than the 2-3 that are available and popular right now. God, if you get a chance to read "Straying from the Flock", it's gonna make you puke!
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