Duxton Hotel Okawa Bay
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We left Tauranga early as I was up at 6am after being awake a lot in the night as I couldn't sleep. This gave us more sight seeing time which was a bonus. Today was a beautiful day, hot and sunny and we saw no rain at all.
We drove south over Pyes Pa Pass to Rotorua and then decided to head straight for the Volcanic Valley 12 km south of the city. It was created in 1886 as a result of the Tarawera eruption and the walk passes ...
... it to be made permanent when they were filming the Hobbit. Quite clever really - they now get around 2000 people visiting every day, nice little money spinner. The detail that has gone into setting everything up is incredible - for example they had people going out and hanging up / taking down clothes from the washing lines every day for 2 weeks before filming began so there were paths beginning to form. And people had to paint 200,000 leaves ...
... The pools were about 39-45 degrees depending on which one we were in. We spent about an hour in the pools before we did the nature walk on site and the reason for the hot springs. The Waiteke river comes from under the ground at 100 degrees where it is artificially cooled for the springs and treated to remove the obvious sulphur (it smelled lovely!). The river cools down to about 0 degrees 3km further down the valley. After we left, we went ...