Pohutu in action

We made it to Rotorua on Friday, after driving successfully on the left, and stopped at the Thermal Springs Holiday Park for two nights. Having never been to a holiday park before (in New Zealand or elsewhere), I was impressed by the facilities: spacious bathrooms and showers, kitchen facilities with four sets of burners and sinks, hot water dispensers, toasters, a lounge with couches and wireless internet ($4/hour). And best of all, three mineral pools steaming away at a constant 38-40°C (100-104°F). After setting up the Spaceship and making a little dinner, we headed straight for the pools.

We spent most of Saturday at Te Puia to get our Māori cultural fix, including a viewing of the Pohutu Geyser. We took a guided tour in the morning, drove around Lake Rotorua after lunch, and then returned to Te Puia for the “Indigenous Evening Experience”, a cultural performance (Māori concert) and a hāngī (Māori barbecue) dinner.

The Pohutu Geyser erupting
The Pohutu Geyser erupts 2-3 times per hour
Stephanie videotaping the Pohutu Geyser eruption
Stephanie videotaping Pohutu (shown for scale)
The Te Puia marae, or enclosed space, containing the wharenui
The Te Puia marae, or enclosed space, containing the wharenui
Pohutu Geyser at night, pre-eruption
Pohutu at night, pre-eruption
Pohutu Geyser erupting at night
Pohutu erupting at night

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