The end of Day 3 you saw us finish the road trip at Waitomo. Rotorua was the next destination for the road trip up in the North Islands, New Zealand. The first thing you smell as soon as you enter Wai-O-Tapu is the egg fart like the smell from all the natural geothermal activity. This area is known for the bubbling mud pools and living quarters for Māori villages.
Turning up at a Māori village in Tepuia, we paid $56 for entry at the door. Tickets included entry to the geothermal valley, a tour around the village and a visit to see the kiwi birds. We were taken on a tour around each area. Watching the traditional welcoming ceremony, people making crafts, carving wood to little sculptures and weaving bags.
Tepuia Māori village location
State Highway 5, Hemo Road, Rotorua
The kiwi’s birds are nocturnal creatures of the night, led in the dark touching the walls to guide us. We looked into the glass windows in pitch black, looking for kiwi sightings. Lucky enough one popped out from the tree branches, looking like a round football.
Pōhutu geysers geothermal park
We then were left to wander around the natural wonders of the geothermal park, each little corner had something different to see. Pōhutu geyser is one of the largest active geysers that erupt on the southern hemisphere. Papakura geyser erupts up to 9 feet. Te Horu Geyser is known as the ‘The Cauldron’. The hot pool tuatara can be used to cook food, food is placed in a woven basket that is lowered into the boiling pool. This style of cooking is called hāngi.
Purapurawhetu is the bubbling mud pools are the culprits for the egg fart like smells in Rotorua due to the small quantities of black sulphur. After our walk around the of the wonderland, we ate at the cafe/restaurant for some hāngi food. The plate consisted of chicken, potatoes, sweetcorn cob, and root vegetables.
After our visit in Tepuia, we drove down to Kerosene Creek for a soak in natural hot springs, that is entirely FREE. Some other hot springs require a fee to enter to use the hot pools. The temperature is very warm and very serene to hear the waterfalls in the background. A little warning about the area, do not leave valuables in the car, New Zealand is known for a lot of car break-in thefts. Someone visiting the area after we had her GoPro stolen in the back of the car whilst me and my friend was just sitting in our car opposite them. Also, there are a lot of rats near the pools which can scare the living crap of you.
Information Kerosene Creek
Address: Old Waiotapu Rd, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand
Hours: Open 24 hours