I may never eat eggs again.
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:
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”
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:
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.
A few more pictures also at LeosPictures.com.