New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu thermal region

Wai-O-Tapu lay twenty-seven kilometres south of Rotorua. This active thermal region had awesome trails through craters, falls, geysers and streams. Not only was it amazing to see steam rising off the water or through cracks and holes in the earth, but also to see the different colours the oxides transformed the water into: iridescent milky greens; bright orange; pitch black.

Wai-O-Tapu mud pools
Wai-O-Tapu mud pools

At first, I visited the mud holes where pools of mud bubbled over. I wandered through craters to Lady Knox Geyser where I was informed the geyser would explode upward at 10:15. Naively, I thought this happened naturally, until a guide appeared with a packet of soap. Pouring it into the funnel, the geyser whooshed upward giving off a soapy smell.

Wai-O-Tapu
Wai-O-Tapu
Lady Knox geyser, Wai-O-Tapu
Lady Knox geyser, Wai-O-Tapu

I wandered through this wonderland, taking every path until I arrived at a lake that was the most magnificent shade of green. The rotten egg gas odour dissipated with the excitement of what I’d find with each turn on the path.

Champagne Pool (60 metres deep), Wai-O-Tapu
Champagne Pool (60 metres deep), Wai-O-Tapu
Devil's home - a collapsed crater, Wai-o-tapu
Devil’s home – a collapsed crater, Wai-o-tapu

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