Today we’d decided to go to see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt at 10.15am at the Waiotapu Thermal Park nearby. I somewhat stupidly thought maybe, just maybe, she naturally erupted at that time each day but alas, the humorous guide put a bag of soap down her whole and away she went. But it’s not quite as man made as that sounds – basically the prisoners who discovered the geyser (pronounced guy – zer) years and years ago decided to wash their clothes in the hot water and when the soap got in there it broke the tension of the cooler water on top which was keeping the boiling water underneath at bay, and of course it erupted. It was kinda funny and quite the anticlimax to see her slowly bubbling soap suds out and then after a few minutes full blown erupting with boiling water straight up in the air. It was interesting that she could keep the water spout going up for up to an hour and upto 20 metres high.
We went for the 7km wall around the thermal park and although it smelt bad at times, the different colours of the bubbling water was cool to see, and the mud pools too that you’d die if you fell in. All very interesting and weird when you finally come to the end the last pool you see is bright neon green, which contrasts fantastically against the grey white of the rock around it. Unreal. We had lunch at the cafe there (giant paninis if you’re wondering) and then we had to make a quick pit stop in Rotorua town to visit a mechanic man to replace our toilet flush switch. Nothing weird we’d done don’t snigger – it had just carked it apparently.
We still had most of the afternoon left and I wanted to go see the Redwood forest I’d read about – when we arrived it was so cool! Just trees yes but huge tall dead straight redwoods are pretty impressive when you’re standing surrounded by them. Some of these trees were so old and we couldn’t reach round their trunk just with the two of us. We chose one of the many tracks that said 2 hours and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just the right amount of challenging with hills and roots and steps.
Now our campsite for the night was an odd one but the reviews on our camping app said wonderful things about this museum carpark with power outlets for self contained campervans. It was just outside a town called Matamata, which we were heading to as tomoro we have our Hobbiton tour booked! They also raved about the kind security guard. Just as we arrived it was getting dark and this famous security man (who was indeed extremely friendly and smiley) was just leaving for the night but he just told us to leave $10 in the box in the door of the museum and he’d leave the toilet block unlocked for us. Thank you very much. So we had a powered site for as long as we liked to stay for just $10, in a pretty little museum/farm gravel carpark surrounded by huge oak trees, and with fairly nice toilets right there – great and ridiculously cheap! That was nice to use the kettle and toaster rather than the gas.
We settled down later to sleep, but not before Javi had a heart attack at the ginormous acorns falling on the roof and sounding like bullets haha. That’d hurt that would!