Rotorua and the area is named the Bay of Plenty as it has many resources such as timber, water, and geothermal heat. Due to Earth's crust being much closer to molten magma at only 6km down and having water at 4km down lots of steam builds up. This creates pressure that needs to be released so a geyser was formed. This has brought up lots of sulphur and the area has a distinct smell like rotten eggs where the steam is released.
The Redwood forest has a few hikes ranging from a half hour to a full day as well as mountain biking and horse trails. I have only seen a few Redwood species and saw Giant Redwoods in Ireland and these ones were just as spectacular. I love how the trees are so tall, but there is very little undergrowth. One reason they can grow so tall, no competition. I did two hikes the short one and a Quarry track. A nice view of an old Quarry.
The highlight of the day was the Te Puia geothermal valley and the Te P? indigenous M?ori experience. Te Puia has a three geysers and many hot water and mud pools. One thing I would have done was get to the site earlier. Since I had booked this as part of a package deal I thought the guided tour would take me all over the park. It did not, but I did get to see the main attractions and hear about the culture and area from a real M?ori. The pools can be 30°C to 100°C. So swimmable to boiling hot. Very cool to see the geysers going off during the day and at night after the cultural experience.
Hot Mud Pool
Wood carver in the 3 year carving school
Te P? is a M?ori experience where we got a full on tribal greeting as would happen back in the day. Then a great show with music, dance, weapons, and the Hakka. The Hakka has become world known from the NZ All Blacks rugby team and I'll post a video below. Great to see this first hand and that the M?ori allow us a little look into their lives. After the show we got a fantastic meal that was prepared in an underground oven using the thermal heat to cook the food. It was tasty. As I stated before after we went back to the geyser and saw it erupt under the night sky. Lots of cloudy steam though. A fantastic experience. I did not do that much travel so I won't post the distances. As part of the Middle Earth Trilogy package I am going to the Waitomo glow worm caves tomorrow.
Dinner coming from the ground
Night time geyser blowing