Ah, that sulfur smell…

I may never eat eggs again. Smile

Actually, to be honest, it hasn’t been that bad. Rotorua sits in a very active volcanic region full of hot springs and geothermal activity, so even flying in you notice a slight smell of sulfur as you descend into the area. That dissipates quickly (and varies greatly on location, weather and wind), but it’s not really been a problem at all.

It’s hot here. We slept with the windows open and a fan blowing all night. (This particular hotel is a tad older and has no air conditioning. Yeah, surprised us too.)

However we woke up to this, though:

Daybreak in Rotorua

That’s Lake Rotoiti, on which the hotel sits.

Today we were picked up for Rotorua Wanderer, by the same company that took us out to Milford Sound a few days ago. (Highly recommended – the guides were friendly, helpful and basically a lot of fun. We enjoyed ourselves quite a bit.)

The highlight of the day was visiting the Wai-O-Tapu “Thermal Wonderland”, with volcanic craters, lakes, and yes – an “on demand”

Lady Knox Geyser

I say “on demand” because the geyser is initiated – and as they say, I am not making this up – by tossing some soap into the opening. So, at 10:15 every day, a park worker gives a short talk on the geyser’s history, origins and how the creative use of soap was discovered. Part way through his presentation he tosses in the soap (ok, more correctly, surfactant) into the geyser’s opening, and over about 5 minutes it works up to what you see above, which can last 30 minutes or more.

The area has many various geothermal activities ranging from the geyser to bubbling mud pools, steam vents and the appropriately named “Artists Palette” pool:

Artists Palette

After heading back to Rotorua proper and enjoying a leisurely lunch, we headed out to Rainbow Springs nature park for a look at some local wildlife.

The Kiwis (a nocturnal bird) were in hiding, so we saw a variety of other flora and fauna.


The Kea – a New Zealand native parrot that likes to eat cars. Seriously, the park had a short film showing how unsuspecting hikers return to find their cars seriously damaged as the local Kea’s eat and/or remove almost everything rubber, including little things like the seals around windshields and the like.

Oh, and Kea’s are protected. Go figure. Smile

A few more pictures also at LeosPictures.com.


  1. Don Brumfield says:

    Wow! Looks like you’re visiting Yellowstone Park South. Thanks for the photo of trout-that was kind! But, the big fish just whet my desire to be in your place, standing in a river! 🙂 Guess I’ll have to win the new Powerball! Don

  2. Shirlee-Ann Henderson says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the highlights of your days. It looks like you are having a great holiday. We are thinking about the fall of 2015, now for us to be able to go.

  3. Hi Leo,
    Glad that you are enjoying your holiday touring around New Zealand. I went there on a twenty-one escorted tour in 2005, wonderful place. I would imagine that digital camera is having a real good workout, I know mine did, about three and half thousand shots.
    Have a safe journey back home.