Rotorua Geothermal Valley is located south of Tauranga on the North Island of New Zealand and is at the tip of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe shaped belt that circles much of the Pacific Ocean. The formation at Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, shooting geysers and natural hot springs.
The first noticeable sign that lets you know you are entering a mysterious terrain are the clouds of steam rising up above the native bushes. The steam clouds are generated by steam and hot water making its way to the surface through numerous vents and geysers in the geothermal development. The two photos below are of steam being released from a vent and a small geyser.
The main attractions of course are the shooting geysers which explode with hot water and steam launching into the air.
Seeing a geyser eruption is an amazing wonder of nature that sometimes can be a frustrating waiting game. Geysers tease the on watcher by spitting and gurgling but never quite seeming to break through but for those that have the patience the reward is worth the wait.
When they do erupt, huge jets of water shoot tens of meters into the sky while the spectators watch with amazement.
Some of the vents and geyser outlets have a yellow colored crust covering the rocks near the outlets. This is due to the sulfur that come out with the hot water and steam. Yes, as you can imagine the smell of sulfur or many people say “rotten eggs” is also present in these locations.
The Rotorua geothermal site has several bubbling mud pools scattered around the site. I did think the bubbling mud pools were interesting as I had never seen mud bubble but I much preferred watching the geysers.
Many people believe that the mud has healing properties and there are place where people are allowed to coat their face and body with mud then have a cleansing soak in the Sulphur spa and cool plunge pool. This is something that I didn’t try so you will need to find out for yourself if it has any healing properties.
A note of warning. This is not an amusement park, the site can be dangerous if you don’t stay in the designated areas. There are warning signs, clearly defined paths and protective fencing to make sure people stay in the safe zones.
Being in the Rotorua Geothermal Valley was the first time that I had seen geysers and bubbling mud ponds.
The geysers were amazing! The area seemed relatively peaceful prior to the geyser exploding. Then almost without warning, out of nowhere a powerful stream of hot water and steam was launched into the sky. Wow, what an amazing demonstration of the power of nature!
I truly love nature and cherish all of the time that I can spend in nature. Most of the time that I spend in nature is in places that are beautiful like parks and wildlife reserves but sometimes nature can be devastating. The strange thing about nature’s devastation is that many times it leaves something new and even more beautiful. The Rotorua Geothermal Valley could be considered one of those places that was formed from nature’s devastation.