There were two trails — one to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak summit that I had already climbed with a $5 entrance fee, and a free trail. I headed to the latter. Continue reading The other side of the mountain
To be honest, I’d never heard of a lava blister until I traipsed around Williamstown’s point and came across this unusual rock formation. Continue reading What is a lava blister?
Te Wairoa was once a thriving village where both Maori and Pakeha flourished until June, 1886. Early that morning, earthquakes were followed by eruptions that continued for hours, covering Te Wairoa with two metres of mud and ash. Continue reading Buried Village
The following day was the first rainy day of my trip. I opened the bathroom window to let out the steam from a shower and the gassy volcanic smell of Rotorua seeped in. I found myself taking deep breaths as if addicted to the fumes.
I headed to the opposite side of Mt Tarawera from the boat cruise I took the previous day. Nearby stood the village of Te Wairoa, destroyed by Mt Tarawera’s eruption in 1886. Part of the destroyed site was excavated, revealing old Maori houses (whare), bottles, plates, and other tools of the times. Continue reading Te Wairoa buried Village
After Wai-O-Tapu, I travelled to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, fourteen kilometres south of Rotorua. I walked four kilometres to the jetty, down the slope past volcanic craters which blew out over a century earlier.
Passing toetoe grass, tea trees and black fern trees along with hot stream, fumes rose like mist, from obscure cracks in the path, from lakes and pools. The crater-lake reflected sparkling ripples before swallowed by another rush of steam. Continue reading Hiking Waimangu’s Volcanic Valley