We went down to Rotorua last weekend to show our visitor the geysers and mudpools. It is definitely a “must see” place on the New Zealand agenda. It smells like rotten egg and bubbles and steams everywhere. And no, this image is not photoshopped! This is the colour of the lake, which is called Devil’s bath. The colour stems from it’s richness in minerals, particularly sulphur. However, it can change colour depending on the ambient lighting. We were lucky, we experienced the water looking this poisonous lime green.

The area was already a “tourist” destination in the 1800’s. Travellers made the trip from Europe to New Zealand to see the Pink and White Terraces, one of the natural wonders of the world. The journey took several months, so in those days it certainly wasn’t a mass destination. Even coming down from Auckland, now a 3.5 hour drive, was a week long adventure. Starting with a steam boat and then through relatively inaccessible terrain, by horse, dinghy and on  foot.

They terraces  were destroyed by a volcano eruption in 1886, buried under a thick layer of debris.

In and around Rotorua one is constantly reminded that the earth is still active. A little bit further down the country, sixty-odd kilometers away from where we were, Mt Tongariro had a little spew on Monday night. The volcano is visible  in the distance in the image below. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen next. Yesterday I heard on the radio, Mt Tongariro could do three things: Either nothing else, or it could continue similar volcanic activity of the same strength, or it could explode big time.

Mmmhm, I could have made this prediction myself.