There does seem to be a vast amount of geothermal areas in New Zealand, but the Wai-O-Tapu thermal trial is one of the most colourful and diverse.
It has convenient, signpost, boardwalk paths that take 30-75 minutes to complete.
So, if like us you only have time to fit in one geothermal experience, this is a good one.
I imagine it looks a little like earth did when it was young and feisty.
With craters that hiss, steam and STINK.
Some have bubbling pools of, what looks like slop.
But, don’t mistake me, this place is really good fun. Coming from the green and pleasant land of England this is an exciting experience. And one we’ve never experienced before.
Or smelt before!
The gases kill off the edges of the hardy vegetation.
Sometimes the gases come your way and you have to hold your breath, ‘though you all scream with laughter, or duck, or run!
Some areas are unbelievably colourful.
Bright oranges or lime greens.
One area looked like the surface of the moon (in my mind, anyhoo).
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. OK Tim Peake, calm down!
No one here paddles or tests the temperature of the water. Keep those pinkies and toes tucked away, no matter how tempting it can look.
Steaming, stinking water took some of the romance from this waterfall…
but then it did open out to this emerald and turquoise lake.
Some land surfaces are like reptilian scales.
Others you can barely see!
Until the breeze pushes the gases away to reveal a burnt red edge around a bright green pool.
Then it’s gone again!
At times we could hardly believe the colours.
Just stick to the path and experience a whole new world.
They lead you past the reliable Lady Knox geyser (bursting onto the scene at 10.15am daily), hissing fumaroles, lacework terraces and more.
Just don’t forget the mesmerising and hugely entertaining boiling mud pools!
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland