This entry was posted on 12/15/2006 3:06 AM and is filed under New Zealand.
Our adventure in Rotorua took us to the Te Puia Thermal
area - and we spent an hour and a half there wandering around in
amazement. They have several distinct geysers, much like Old
Faithful, but part of what was particularly neat about this area was
its significance as an area where the Maori had lived. There are
displays showing how they integrated the thermal areas into their daily
One such area is this "Cooking Hole" - ya gotta watch the movie to
believe it - water boiling right at the surface. Now that's hot!
The thermal areas were throughout the town and surrounding area. One of our walks through town brought us to this pool...
yes - that does say TEMP 212 - I thought at first that meant
centrigrade, which would translate to 413 degrees Farenheit, but found
that very confusing, as 212 F = 100 C = the temperature that water
boils. As our friend Shelley wrote in though: "PS--that water
temperature of 212 on Rachel Spring in Rotorua--that would be
fahrenheit. Probably the pool was built before they switched over
to metric. Water can't get hotter than 212F, unless it's under
pressure in a closed container..... it turns to steam at 212F..."
Thanks Shelloolie - it never occured to me that New Zealand would have
started F and then gone metric. What a brilliant idea. Wish
we could be so flexibile too - stubborn yankees.
And here we were on the shore of Lake Rotorua, a large and very
beautiful lake, and found several large thermal areas just mixing in
with the cool lake water, like this...
(Yes - that is steam rising from the surface)....
You could always tell where the water temperater was "just right"
because there'd be a large flock of these wonderful black swans - not
the aggressive kind we usually see in the states, but pretty mellow