Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rotorua, New Zealand

Saturday we drove to the town of Rotorua, otherwise known as Rotovegas, since it's a bit over the top as a tourist destination.

The main reason the town is such a destination hot spot is because of it's geothermal activities. There are numerous steam vents, sulfur pools, geysers, mud pools.... in the area.

Today we decided to play tourist and booked ourselves in for the "Ultimud Spa Package". Before our spa session began though, we spent 45 minutes walking around the grounds and checking out all the geothermal sites.

We were at Hells Gate Geothermal Park, which got it's name from well known British Playwright George Bernard Shaw when he visited here in the early 1900's.



Here's Dave at Hells Gate Geothermal Park.








Kelly amongst the various boiling pools of water.





This is called the Devils Cauldron and is 248 degrees F.






This is a mud volcano which is nearly 8 feet high. It continues to grow as it discharges mud lahars and lava bombs every so often.







Kakahi Falls is the largest hot water falls in the southern hemisphere.








Dave walking through Hells Gate Park









After our walk, we spent 20 minutes in a mud bath as shown in the photos here. After this we spent 1/2 an hour in the sulfur pools before we went in for our one hour Wai Ora traditional massage.
We were pretty sore after our hike on Friday and we definitely felt better after all of this.




































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