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Rotorua, New Zealand

June 16, 2009

Day 63

Our bus was leaving early, and since we got in late last night, we went out early in the morning to look around Rotorua.

Rotorua and the surrounding area is famous for geysers and thermal areas that exist here. Within Rotorua, there is a city park that has tons of bubbling mud pools that was really cool to walk through. As you’re walking through the park (and even most of the town), you can really smell the sulphur coming up from the thermal pools. Sulphur smells a little bit like rotten eggs and a lot like awful.

Standing next to one of the thermal pools in Rotorua with steam coming up in the background.

Standing on a platform that walks out over one of the thermal pools.

Standing on a platform that walks out over one of the thermal pools.

Our bus left around 8:30 and we headed for the Knox Geyser, which goes off everyday (with a little help) around 10:15. Along the way, we had a few extra minutes so we stopped at this thermal pool.

This looks like a fake smile for the camera, but its actually a grimace from the smell of the bubbling mud pool behind me. I might never eat eggs again.

This looks like a fake smile for the camera, but its actually a grimace from the smell of the bubbling mud pool behind me. I might never eat eggs again.

These mushrooms were growing next to the thermal pool. After Lori and I ate them, we instantly grew to twice our normal size. Unfortunately, a Koopa Trooper ran into us before we could take a picture and we returned to our normal size before jumping over a pit to safety.

These mushrooms were growing next to the thermal pool. After Lori and I ate them, we instantly grew to twice our normal size. Unfortunately before we could take a picture, a Koopa Trooper ran into us and we returned to our normal size before jumping over a pit to safety.

After our short stopover at the mud pool, we went on to the Knox Geyser. This geyser goes off naturally every 24-72 hours, so in order to have a predictable eruption so that people can see it, one of the park attendants drops in some organic soap everyday at 10:15. This is what happens afterwards:

After the Knox Geyser, we went on to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. This area has several geysers and thermal pools. Many of them bring up different chemicals from under the ground, and as a result, the water can be many different colors from orange to green.

After leaving Wai-O-Tapu, we contined on toward Taupo, but made a stop along the way to view the Huka Falls:

At one of our stops, a possum came up to the vistors area, which was kind of surprising since they are nocturnal and usually avoid people. Even more shocking, the workers at the vistors center started feeding it. Possums are considered a pest in NZ, as they were introduced from Australia and are responsbile for endangering much of the native birds and killing trees when they strip them of bark.

At one of our stops, a possum came up to the visitors area, which was kind of surprising since they are nocturnal and usually avoid people. Even more shocking, the workers at the visitors center started feeding it. Possums are considered a pest in NZ, as they were introduced from Australia and are responsible for endangering much of the native birds and killing trees when they strip them of bark.

We arrived into Taupo that afternoon and took a short walk around the lake front before it got dark.

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