On the volcanoes we’d gotten our noseful of rotten eggs but since we were in New Zealand we wanted to go all the way – especially as we were currently in an area with an extremely high thermal activity.
Therefore, we had an early morning start from Taupo to arrive at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland just after 9am. This gave us an opportunity to have a first look around the area before the – obligatory – “activation” of Lady Knox geyser at 10:15am (they pour biodegradable soup into the opening – geyser erupts – everyone’s happy). The geyser wasn’t overly exciting and we returned to the park immediately after the show.
We completed all walks that were shown in the pamphlet we received at the entrance and were amazed at the colours, the geology, the steam, the bubbling pools – even the smell. The landscape seems almost surreal and once more we were often by ourselves which makes such a difference in how we experience things, especially in the outdoors aka nature.
We spent pretty much all morning there, then moved on to nearby Rotorua for world-class falafel at Sam’s Kitchen and via neverending ups and downs and serpentines on to Hahei Beach, our last refuge before heading to Auckland.