Ka wera te wai! (The water is hot!)

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
Holdens Bay Top 10 Holiday Park
What I did
Ohope Beach Whakatane
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Te Puia Rotorua
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Mangapohue Natural Bridge
Marokopa Falls

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leaving Waitomo behind we set off on the less travelled roads to spot a few of the impressive photo opportunities that lie in New Zealand. First stop Mangapohue Natural Bridge and then onto the Marokopa Falls.  These were mere interludes in our 4 hour journey to Rotorua. "Egg" would have been a better name for “Rotorua”, or to more precise rotten egg!  The whole of the Rotorua region sits in a gigantic crater once created by what must have been a horrendous volcanic eruption and at it thinnest the geologists suggests the Earth's crust is as little as 5 km thick here.  This results in natural geothermal springs at the surface.  These take the form of mud pools, vents, hot springs and geysers.  Hence the constant 'eggy’ smell of sulphur.

We had been fortunate to date with our accommodation, but things changed for the worse with a rather dated, musty smelling chalet and best of all it was at the end of an airport runway!

Next brought us to ‘Te Puia’, a Moara run thermal park, were the pictures really speak for themselves.  The highlight for me was when after a gentle shove from PK, I found myself as the big white chief representing the my brother tourists in the greeting ceremony of our Moari hosts – “Kia Ora!”

We headed off site for a few hours before returning to the Maori evening concert.  Although I was not big white chief this time, PK and I made a reasonable pass at the Haka.  Smarts a bit when they hit their moobs and I can tell you and I had a shirt on!  Still Liz was impressed – result!

With the new sun we headed north to the coast and proceeded to the Ohope Beach so PK could look at the birds.  With a brief stop for a haircut in town, a useful chat ensued and some top secret local advice was received from my Barber about a place called Kerosene Creak – a hot water river.....  Advice pocketed and heading home there was no passing a real fruit ice creamery.  It has to be said if you find yourself in New Zealand keep your eye out for one of these place.  They mix your choice of fresh fruit with vanilla ice cream right in front of you – yum!

Our final day saw us heading south towards home, but not before we took the advice of my Barber and went searching for Kerosene Creek.  After a couple of wrong turn Liz took us on to an unsealed road and we proceeded to be rattled by pot-holes for about 20 minutes, but it was well worth the discomfort.

At the end of the road in the bottom of the valley saw us parking in a stand of trees with only a camper van in sight.  Deciding to take a quick look around, as we weren’t really sure what to expect, in the tree line we headed and immediately came across a narrow steaming river.  With only places to dip our toes, we headed down stream in search of somewhere to make a bit more of a splash.

Rounding a corner there was a water fall which emptied into a largish basin about 1.5 meters down.  Due to drop we didn’t initial see our ‘friends’ but when we did we got a bit more to see than we had bargained for!  Due to the noise of the waterfall they remained blissfully unaware of these hap-stance voyeurs.  With eyes averted, making as much noise as possible and a quick good morning, we announced our intention to the trees that we were off to the van to put our swimmers on!

Fortunately on our return cozzies were now covering all the naughty bits, so in we went with a splash.  The water was like having a hot bath and being about 0.5 meters deep was plenty deep enough to lounge around and soak up the moment.  After a few awkward moments our new American friends got chatting and we managed to coax PK in for a paddle.

The rest of the day we headed for home in Paraparaumu fairly uneventfully, but a faint whiff of sulphur followed us where-ever we went.  What our Barber tourist guide and pictures don’t tell is that eggy smell comes as standard when you take a dip in geothermally heated water!

- JJ
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Neal B on

Great blog still. Thanks.

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