September 1, 2008

Beyond Auckland

-Champagne Pool (63m wide/65m deep).
Minerals, including gold and silver, seeping out of the ground at Thermal Wonderland. Rotorua, New Zealand.-

After Auckland, we journeyed into the countryside for a taste of what life is really like in New Zealand. We weren't surprised by what we found: sheep in abundance, the same courteous hospitality and more adventure seeking backpackers than you could shake a stick at.

-A hot pool of mud and minerals found at Rotorua city center.-

-Boiling mud heated by molten lava deep underground.-

Rotorua, the geothermic center of New Zealand, was our first stop. Once we got over the fact that the city, the lake and everything in the vicinity smelled of rotten eggs, we were able to enjoy the city for the lovely place that it was. As we walked around the city we were amazed by the sheer number of natural hot pools, boiling mud pots and steam vents. We have never been so aware of the earth's magnificent power as we were when we were there.

-Florescent yellow minerals seeping from the ground.-

-Lady Knox Geyser. Thermal Wonderland.-

Another attraction that caught our attention was the Lady Knox Geyser. While relatively small in size, when compared to the monster geysers of Yellowstone National in America, it was the story behind the discovery of the geyser that peeked our interest. Inmates, who were used to complete deforestation in the area had decided that it would be a good idea to use the hot springs as a bathing/laundering area. However, when soap was dropped down into the cool vats of water below the earth's surface it reduced the water's surface tension in turn causing this cool water to disperse mixing it with the boiling water and in short causing the reaction that you see in the picture above. The first time The Lady Knox erupted due to this form of man-made help it took the prisoners by great surprise.

-Jess and I in an English style phone booth.-

-Trev and I riding the gondola up to the top of the luge run. Rotorua City.-

After exploring and learning we headed out for a bit of fun. The luge run, a racing track from the top of a local mountain, was a great way to burn time. Trev and I had a fantastic time racing each other down the hill. We greatly enjoyed the fresh air, the mountain scenery and driving again (even if it was a little luge).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we were in Yellowstone this summer we heard about New Zealands geothermal sites. Cool that you could see them. Very fasinating!
Love D&M