Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 24, 2016

Geothermal Wonders and More

Our trip around the Volcanic Loop lands us in Takaano, where we got our first up-close look at some of the active geothermal features.

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Thermal pool – a bit too hot for soaking.

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Delightful Freedom Camping spot nearby.

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A very scenic drive took us up the east shore of Lake Taupo. This is a very pleasant area with many natural attractions.

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We soaked for free in thermal pools just minutes from downtown Taupo.

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That rushing hot water felt great on my shoulders.

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Checked out Huka Falls, which is much more exciting that it appears in this photo.

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Took a hike around Craters of the Moon.

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Viewed the thrice daily dam release at Aratiatia Rapids (before release above).

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After release.

Our drive north on Route 5, the Thermal Explorer Highway brought us to the area of Rotorua and several beautiful lakes.

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Lake Tarawera

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Lake Okareka

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Researching where we will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next… etc. A trip like this requires endless planning. Good thing I (mostly) enjoy doing it.

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The lake displayed many moods during our brief overnight visit.

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Panoramic – click to view larger.

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You gotta love a town that offers free camping right near the must-see attractions. This one even includes a pond with water fountain, some geothermal pools, and a nice restroom. Rotorua is VERY tourist friendly!

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The Rotorua Museum is housed in this amazing historic building (1908 bath house). We enjoyed a very informative free private tour (only because nobody else showed up) of an extensive Maori exhibit, the roof top viewing platform, and much more.

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St. Faith’s Church where the Anglican and Maori religions and cultures are blended beautifully.

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Maori hammerhead shark design.

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Maori woven flax matting (tukutuku) and hand painted scrollwork on walls and altar.

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Christian cross with Maori fern leaves.

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Etched image of Christ wearing a Maori cloak as he appears to walk on the waters of Lake Rotorua.

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Across from the church is a Maori Meeting House.

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All are part of a living Maori Village or Ohinemutu.

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One of the most amazing things about Rotorua is that small geothermal features are everywhere – in fields, parking lots, back yards, parks, on beaches, and more.  Unfortunately, these cause the entire town to smell like sulfur, which can be rather unpleasant.

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Responses

  1. flipflops, thermal pools, beautiful water views everywhere, great church windows – what’s not to like!? (except maybe the sulfur smell)

  2. We know your endless planning is amazing! Love the photo of you with the water on your shoulders! Those thermal pools- ahhhhh. Huka Falls water color is extraordinary! Craters of the Moon looks mystical. So fun to see all your fab photos.

  3. That hot water stream would feel great……they closed to the public the one in Mammoth.


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