June 12, 2017
The scent of a geyser.
The Rotorua area of New Zealand turned out to have a high concentration of volcanic tourist attractions. There are a dozen or so places in the vicinity (within a 30-minute drive) that I’d recommend visiting. So, where to start? If you don’t know where to start, start from the beginning. © I’ll take this advice, and… start with a question.
What geysers have you already seen, and which was your favorite?
That’s a very simple question to get us started.
While you think, let me give you the bigger picture.
There are four geyser regions in the world: Yellowstone, Iceland, the Valley of Geysers on Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia and New Zealand. The hot springs in Atakama, Chile, are sometimes also included in this list. Also, they say there is a geyser areas in Mexico and Japan, but these are relatively unknown.
A geyser is an absolutely stunning sight: a column of hot water erupting from the ground and reaching several dozens meters into the air. Everybody really should see one at least once in their lifetime.
In Rotorua there’s a place called Te Puia – well, to be exact, the full name is Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao (source: Wikipedia). This is home to a geyser named Pohutu that erupts on a regular basis, roughly every 90 minutes.
After an eruption ends, the geyser continues to send spurts several meters into the air for some time, and then it calms down:
This is my second time here. The previous visit was in the winter (local summertime) of 2013; it was back then that I noticed this small hotel:
Back then I thought it would be great to stay in that hotel and enjoy the view of the geyser from my own personal balcony, kind of like this:
Now, 3.5 years later, “dreams come true”. I’ve checked in!
The hotel is just splendid: apparently, the last time it was refurbished was… well, never. It’s seen a lot of wear and tear; the wooden furniture has seen better days and the carpets are squelchy.
But it has to be said that the bedding and sheets are all clean, and everything is set out neatly. There’s no dust or dirt in the corners.
And the icing on the cake:
Well, actually the real ‘icing’ is that there’s no Internet in the hotel – absolutely no Internet! There’s no breakfast either. To compensate though, the fire sprinkler is dripping water, creating a puddle on the floor:
To top it all, there’s a pervasive stench of sulfur – you can’t escape it. Of course, that’s to be expected given the sheer amount of volcanism outside the window. And the view out the window is breathtaking!
I don’t know of any other geysers that have their own hotels. You can just sit at the window, and enjoy the view, and even meditate… Quite simply, the hotel is fantastic! The window view more than makes up for all mild discomforts of the living conditions.
It’s especially stunning at night…
But beware! You need to get a room on the left side of the hotel (if you’re looking at it from outside); the views from the rooms on the right are blocked by bushes and trees.
This is what it looks like from the right side of the building – practically no view of the geyser.
Here are some more photos:
I think that more or less covers the geyser theme.
And now, let’s hear your geyser stories.