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Published: March 8th 2019
Rotorua Thursday /Friday 7th 8th March
This is the centre of the geothermal area and after yesterday's trip to Orakei Korako, today we went to Wai-O-Tapu. There is a geyser, Lady Knox geyser, and a member of staff pours some soap into the geyser, which is a surfacterant that makes the geyser shoot up in a cloud of steam and soapsuds. Apparently it was discovered at the beginning of the last century when prisoners were clearing the land for tree cultivation, found a hot spring that they used to wash in, and one of the prisoners dropped his soap in the spring. After a few minutes the hot water shot up in a fountain scattering naked prisoners in every direction.
They are terraces covered in silica, and various colours from different minerals underground. There is a bright green lake. And the colours change every day depending on temperature or sunshine. During this walk we had a violent downpour, the first we've had in this allegedly wet country.
Though crowded and touristy, this was well worth seeing.
The evening, our last, we went up in the Skyline gondala to the top of the hill, overlooking the town and the lake, and had a buffet meal at the Stratosfare restaurant. Counter after counter was filled with every type of food, from all round the world, and, between us we had a bit of everything, gorging for two hours while night fell and the lights twinkled from the town. Another highlight of the trip.
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