Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wai-O-Tapu


Sometime during my trip to Rotorua, I decided to go to Wai-o- Tapu, what the Paikiha (or white Kiwis are called) call the Thermal Wonderland. I don't like that term because it kind of sounds like some kind of Theme Park. When translated from Maori, it means Sacred Waters... and that is so much more accurate. So I went on a trip to this beautiful place of sacred colored waters and what a place!

I received a map of the place and let me tell you, it takes a good 2 hours to go through all the places. We only had 1 1/2 hours to visit because I was on a shuttle bus ( I have no car) and so was restricted on time. I do recommend you come here on a day when you have no restrictions because there is a little cafeteria and a gift store where you can chill out before, after or during your time there.

The concept is that there are several pools of "water" having different names related to what people thought they might represent.

First we went to see some of the bubbling pools of mud. That was pretty cool because it's not every day that you see mud literally boiling in front of your eyes. The best part is that it is completely natural! How insane is that?!
Bubbling Mud

Bubbling Mud in Action

Afterwards we were taken to Lady Knox, a well-known geyser that erupts at 10:15a.m. every morning (they help it along with soap). I hear it's similar to that of the park in the US (I'm currently forgetting the name because I'm a bit tipsy as I write this...it's Friday and I have two consecutive days off from work and it's been 6 weeks since I've had this opportunity. SO....you can imagine the giddiness I felt and the subsequent need to celebrate) .
Lady Knox in Wait
Anyway, I videoed the geyser erupting but as I said in an earlier message, I took it vertically and can't figure out how to turn it around ( I apologize for any cricks in your necks!).

Lady Knox in Motion

Lady Knox and Me
After the mudflats and the geyser we went into Wai-o-Tapu, but once again I forgot to bring in my journal to tell you the exact names of each of the pools. Sorry! Work has got me wonky!
I hope you will enjoy the sights, though, and know that these pictures are truly of sacred waters.

Heart-shaped face


An acorn's home



A little history of how volcanoes have shaped New Zealand ( New Zealand is on the Ring of Fire, a global map of where the world's most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean are located. Red lights in the Rotorua Museum were lit up all over this country!)




The Artist's Palette






The Champagne Pool





Steaming River

Is it Moss or chemical composites?
A Mud Plateau

Another Artist's Palette
Fingers of Fluorescence

A Separate World

Moss-Covered Rocks

People walking through the different pools



Moss-Covered Bark

Devil's Ink Pot

The Devil's Bath. Look at that incredible color!

Close-up of the Champagne Pool - looks like something from outer space

A Strange Beach...
Bubbling water - like blowing in your bathtub! (or farting....)






Multi-colored Pool

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