Friday, June 19, 2009

Rotorua, New Zealand

A short drive south of New Zealand is Rotorua, a city built in the exploded crater of a very active volcano!

In the 1980's, sensors were burried in the ground with a view to giving the residents of Rotorua approximately two weeks notice in the event of the next major eruption. We didn't stick around long enough to find out if they work!

On our arrival, we attended a Maori cultural show where they performed a Haka up close and personal. We were then treated to a traditionally prepared meal and an after dinner walk through the forest to see glow worms in their natural habitat.

The next day we hiked around the thermal parks in the area, checking out tons of bubbling mud pits and a surreal landscape of steaming rocks. Steam was coming out of the ground everywhere, even out of the post-holes for the fences!

We also witnessed the huge Pohotu geiser erupting, sending high pressure water shooting 15 meters in the air. It was really spectacular!

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