Volcanic fumes, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua – photo courtesy Andrew McMillan – wikimedia.org
As I headed north towards Rotorua, the eastern side of Mt Ruapehu loomed ahead, but unfortunately, the day was overcast and clouds floated over the crater shaped summit.
Lake Taupo was glassy and in places, thermal gas rose around the perimeter but I didn’t stop as I wanted to arrive in Rotorua before dark. When I reached the motel recommended to me in Wellington, I discovered the friendly owner already knew my name. Apparently, my Wellington accommodation owner had phoned ahead for me, booking a room.
The thermal smell of Rotorua was pungent, but after a day, I happily breathed in the odd aroma. Locals once tapped into the free supply of hot water under their houses and I was told by my hotel owner, that tour operators objected, because the fumes and jets from geysers were diminishing.