Feeling Hot Hot Hot
Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
132Trip End Jan 04, 2012
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One thing I have to remember to do in future is make sure we go for a flat spot where possible as we were both thinking all night about what would happen if the car rolled forward over the poor unfortunate couple of Americans who had pitched their tent on the banks of the Lake
Getting up on the alarm as we were time-bound this morning, we had some cereals and boiled eggs and hit the road as soon as possible. We trundled up the gravel track and over the humps in the road shaking the van to bits. A short 50km drive would take us to our morning meeting. Today, we would be seeing pretty cool geezer, or is that spelt Geyser. Think I’m right the second time.
The Wai-o-Tapo park is pretty badly arranged considering the first thing everyone wants to do is witness the 10.15am eruption of Lady Knox Geyser. You have to drive in to the main park entrance and park, get a ticket, and then drive back to a separate car park especially for the Geyser. It would make sense to sell tickets at the Geyser entrance. On the drive from Rotorua to the park we passed several of these Geothermal parks all offering similar views but nothing looked quite as broad ranging as what was offered at Wai-o-Tapo. It’s not cheap at $32 each, but it’s a pretty cool place to visit.
We got some seats near the front and waited for the eruption – I was trying to work out how they could set the Geyser eruption so clearly as being at 10.15am and was a little disappointed when the guide explained that the eruptions could occur pretty randomly during a 24 hour-ish spell however they introduce a natural product into the Geyser to kick start it at will. At least it wouldn’t be 40 minutes late like the Philip Island Penguins.
Nice bit of build up, long eruption of about 5-10 minutes and plenty of time to take photos
1 – She deserved it for being rude enough to sit right in front of other people.
2 – She couldn’t understand us anyways.
After many photos were taken we went back to the proper park. The place is nicely laid out with a little map and you simply follow the numbers around to see all the different geothermal features like coloured mineral pools, mud pools, geysers, steam pools etc. Why then, do some people walk against the obvious route and do the numbers in reverse!? The order and the arrows are there for a reason, and it’s generally for making the experience good for everyone. The asses that walk 'against the flow’ make the paths crowded and make each feature more clogged with people than they should be
We both really enjoyed the park even though it smelt like eggy farts all the way around. It’s one of those easy touristy things that requires so little effort it just makes your day simple.
After the park we started out towards Waitomo which is where we would be spending tomorrow. We haven’t decided as yet what we want to do when we get there but the place is set up to allow you to visit glowworm caves, do abseiling and caving or to do blackwater rafting. We were quite keen on the rafting but have been unable to book without the internet – we’re going to just turn up and hope for the best.
Before reaching Waitomo, I had a bit of a mare with the driving as a weather front moving in with some relatively strong cross winds across the rolling hills gave me no end of trouble. It’s like trying to drive a Kite in a straight line. We pulled into our planned DOC campsite half way to Waitomo for the night and not at all too soon after I had had a couple of scares when big transporters driving the other way and disrupting the wind flow shook the camper to buggery and sent the camper veering left sharply into the gravel, leaving me gripping tightly onto the steering wheel trying to right us
Tomorrow evening we start heading south a bit quicker than we have been and I’ve got my work cut out with the driving. We have notched up about 900km in the last few days but that will only have left us 150km south of Auckland after traversing back and forth picking up the northern highlights and with another 900 to get us to Wellington by the 20th. Kate’s doing a stirling job running the map and campsite planning side of things while I drive along, and has only had the map upside down on about 4 occasions. She is also very defensive of ‘her’ kitchen and is insistent on doing that side of things. I am a lucky husband.