Located 27km south from Rotorua (Central North Island New Zealand), Wai O Tapu’s, whimsically named, Thermal Wonderland is a series of brightly coloured geothermal pools, stinky sulphur mud baths and explosive geysers.
Wai O Tapu, which is Maori for sacred waters, has several active geysers, the most famous of which being the Lady Knox geyser which can spurt over 20m high and easily last over an hour. Unlike the geysers I’ve seen on the Bolivian Altiplano which discharge continuously, the Lady Knox geyser is forced to erupt everyday at 10.15am by a park ranger and a bag of soap.
The vivid dali-esq champagne pool is caused from the high sulphur content combining with the ferrous salts in the water and at times exceeding 100 degrees Celsius.
My favourite, Lake Ngakoro, turns from a dull olive green into viridescent acid green when the sunlight breaks through the clouds.
To total distance around is 4km, costs 32.50NZD, and takes approximately 3 hours if you include the mud pools, the geyser show and all of the mind boggling lakes.
Voted “One of the 20 Most Surreal Places in the World” by TripAdvisor, I and a few thousand others gave it a overall rating of 92%.
The sustainability program takes care of the craters that are now a few millennia old, hopefully the program makes sure that they last at least a few thousand years more.
Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a New Zealand must do.
Have you seen any other natural phenomenons as crazy as these?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains.