Phew, what a stinker!
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 207
Temperature : 20 degrees
Weather : Mainly overcast
At first I thought it was my imagination, and then I wondered if Kevin had unwittingly let off a silent stinker and was now refusing to admit it. I rolled the window down gasping for fresh air, uttering the odd "you minger!", but then the smell got worse. In fact, we had arrived at one of New Zealand's most geothermally active regions, and that rotten egg smell that we were detecting was sulphur. An apology was issued to Kevin who was now demanding I roll up the window, his face a picture. He too was finding the odour a little offensive.
This whole area is home to dramatic steaming craters, mineral terraces, colourful hot and cold pools, bubbling hot springs and hissing fumeroles. It can all be found here. We arrived early at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and bought our tickets. We then headed to the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts every day at 10.15am, thanks to a little soap powder which is dropped into it by one of the park’s staff. Within a few minutes steaming froth can be seen bubbling over the top of the geyser, and before long Lady Knox is spouting hot water around 15m up in to the air.
We headed back to the main park and completed the one and a half hour walking loop past more steaming craters, bubbling springs and various multihued pools including the famous Champagne Pool and Artists Palette with their amazing colours. We then visited the mud pools, which are spectacular boiling pools of mud which quietly bubble and plop away and then violently spurt and erupt every so often sending hot mud flying in all directions.
After a few hours admiring Mother Nature at her best we were now sufficiently stinking of egg. We’d seen all the park’s attractions and so we headed back to Harold and ventured into Rotorua town, but even in the middle of town the eggy smell pervaded everything. The locals seemed oblivious, and I guess if you lived here you would become immune to the odour.
We stocked up on supplies at the supermarket and headed north once again to our next destination, the Coromandel Peninsula.