Waiotapu is not just about the geysers; there’s a whole lot more here that hisses, lets off steam and releases multi-colored bubbles. It’s probably the brightest geothermal attraction in the whole of New Zealand… well, except for the gigantic Terawera and Tongariro craters (which I’ll tell you about a little bit later).
So here are Waiotapu’s thermal attractions:
The pools and reservoirs here come in all shapes, sizes, colors and temperatures. Some are just huge holes with something hissing and reeking of sulfur deep within them:
Others are just still lakes with graphite-colored water, which boils and bubbles in places. At some locations the PH values of the water is stated. No one felt like taking a dip.
While taking in the elegant shapes of the local sights, I was reminded of some similar places on the Kamchatka peninsula, such as the Uzon volcanic area. However, while all the lakes, mud pools and springs in Kamchatka are certainly a curious sight, their layout is quite natural chaotic and disorderly. Here, in contrast, they are all neat, round and elegant, as though there were carefully drawn by somebody, scooped out, painted and then given a final clean before being unveiled.
My favorite pastime is to manage the hot springs while they do their job :)
The green lake:
Oh! An Amanita! Among all the local novelties and all of New Zealand’s endemic plants, it’s very nice to meet a mushroom I’ve known since childhood.
Check out the mineral deposits. Looks like a miniature version of Huanglong in China :)
The Champagne Pool – that’s what this one is called:
A couple more geothermal curiosities:
It was a very pleasant walk. All along the way there are paths, signposts and benches to sit on and take a rest.
All around is a thick wall of green forest that looks fairly impenetrable. The multi-colored volcanic bubble features look all the better against this green backdrop.
The sky reflected in the green water:
To complete the walk, here’s a mud pool, with its contents bubbling and gurgling away in small patches.
That’s all I have on Waiotapu. For a comparison, here’s are our impressions of the place when we visited back in the winter of 2013.