Anyway, my top 5: Natural Beauty, Natural Forces, Accessibility, Breathtaking, Very Little Traffic
These photos are not air brushed, or colour enhanced, spooky eh? Yes that’s steam, yes that’s a boardwalk across a lethal boiling seething multi coloured lake, yes I walked across it and yes I thought I would die!
My first post written from this amazing, beautiful country is one of colours and few words. After arrival and collecting the camper van we headed off to Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu. It is one of the things I had to tick off on my list of must do’s. I had to see hot springs and mud pools etc.
Words can not describe the feeling of standing on warm land, knowing it could blow up at any moment. Geysers (locals pronounce them gy as in sky, not gey as in key) spouting and the sound of hissing or bubbling just out of sight in bush land. All very unnerving but also one which puts you in touch with nature in no other way possible. It made me realise that mother earth just about tolerates us. She’s fighting back and losing some of those battles but her power is immense and we are honoured to share this planet with such beauty and power.
OK, so I was terrified of falling into the boiling (yes boiling, actually bubbling and spitting) earth, you can access a huge amount of this parkland. They had great car parks, and have thankfully built some handy timber pathways to guide you through the main sights. This results in a fair bit of buggy and wheelchair access. If you are a wheelchair user I would investigate options first though. I was glad for the paths as I knew which bits were safer than others. Mind you I have to say all the time I was thinking the wood wouldn’t stand up to any sort of shift in the tectonic plates etc. Cue lots of deep breathing and active quelling of the inner voice known as common sense which was SCREAMING at me ‘You will die here’
There are numerous action sports in the area if nature needs a boost in the adrenalin stakes. You can even approach Huka Falls on foot or by speed boat. The waterfalls and river are so clear and blue, ice blue I guess. Apparently the waterfall has enough water over it each minute to fill an olympic swimming pool – phew. Terrifying exhilarating sheer energy, it even creates it’s own wind that breathes up at you in a fierce coolness. Breathtaking is a word bandied about willy nilly but it truly meant something here. If you ever doubt the power of our awesome planet visit here and have your faith in nature restored.
Very little traffic
This may not seem like a great reason but as we were in a camper van, a vehicle not known for it’s speed or manouvreability it is an important factor. Some of the roads here had BIG trucks chasing us down hairpin bends, luckily we found this area to be quiet, well signposted and relaxing.
On and just in case you were wondering, as we were, why is it still called New Zealand? Australia was New Holland, but isn’t anymore. New Zealand is also called by it’s Maori name Aotearoa and that name is hoped to gradually replace NZ, so start now? Thank you.
The locals are maori, pronounced more like moor-y and not as in mow-ry as in now-ry as we in the UK tend to say. I guess my Yorkshire accent will have to do, although I’ll try to adopt ‘moory’
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