Australasia » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua By jenron April 14th 2007 Drove to the Wai-O-Tapu thermal park. The visit starts strangely because everyone drives the short distance to a 'tame' geyser that they set off daily at 10:15am by bunging soap powder down it. This was mildly impressive but the real wonders are in the thermal park itself. There is an incredible vaiety of wondrous and colourful geothermal features. The sulphur smell is very strong. There are glugging hot mud pools, steaming pools of boiling water and lakes of various hues encrusted with sulphur and other elements. Returning to Rotorua we dined at the justly popular Fat Dog - so busy that we were in an overflow section at the back. After a rest we explored the great geothermal features in the public parj which adjoins the youth hostel. It's easy to find - just follow the steam. It is so bizarre for us not used to geothermal landscapes to just wander around a park with bubbling mud and scalding water pools. In the evening we went down to the lakeside. A coachload of oriental tourists seemed fascinated by the seagulls swarming as they fed them bread.