I honestly can’t think of weirder place I have visited. New Zealand travel is famous for it’s breathtaking landscape, but Roturoa, on the North Island, is like it’s own little planet. This country has everything from glaciers and snow capped mountains to rumbling volcanos and black sand beaches.
Roturoa stands out as a popular hot spot for it’s geothermal activity. I didn’t really know what this meant before going but I was told to brace myself for a weird smell.
And let me tell you, they weren’t kidding. From the moment we saw the sign “Welcome to Roturoa” it was like an egg explosion had gone off. Or maybe just 100 year old egg sandwiches… Roturoa has so much geothermal activity that the natural sulphur of the earth leaks absolutely everywhere around the city.
Seeing these puffs of steam rising randomly out of the side walk, is up there with the oddest things my eyes have seen.
I’d like to say I got used to the smell but let’s just say the beauty of the place made up for the pong.
Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland
With such names as Devil’s Pit and Devil’s Bath, Wai-O-Tapu is certainly an other-worldly place to visit. This park is a natural wonderland with a three hour walk unlike any other walk you’ll ever do. We literally saw the Earth bubble, burp and hiss right before our very eyes.
Steam vents pop up all over the place and the trees seem to have an orange build up of the sulphur and goodness knows what else is in the air.
Probably the most famous sight here is the stunning Champagne Pool where build up these natural chemicals and minerals, float around a huge pit of almost boiling water. The air is thick and the steam from the pool washed over us as the wind changed. Slightly claustrophobic, but exhilarating.
There are few places in this world where you can be truly humbled by nature. Visiting this bizarre yet stunning place was one of the best things I’ve done during my New Zealand travel.