Monday, November 22, 2010

The spectacular land of volcanoes and geysers (Day 25)

This is surely one of the most exciting topics for Elvinas!

Did you know that Auckland alone is surrounded by close to 50 volcanoes, and some of them are extremely young (Rangitoto volcano has erupted only 600 years ago)? I didn't. Not before our trip to New Zealand.

The view of Rangitoto island from Auckland Sky Tower

One of the absolute highlights of the North Island for us was a visit to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, where we saw colorful craters, boiling lakes and springs, little geysers and more. This particular valley was created by the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera, so the whole geothermal area is extremely new. Needless to say, this visit not only served as a great geography lesson for Elvinas (part of the homeschooling programme :)), but also tought us more about the history of New Zealand. 

Boiling lake

Nearly boiling Inferno Crater

The gin bottle :)

Boiling spring

It was simply fantastic to finish the day in Waikite Valley hot pools, where campers have free access to the thermal area and can soak in the pools for as a long as there is water in them. The next morning (6ish) we started off the day soaking again, enjoying the view of the foggy hills instead of the raising sun.

Good morning fog :)

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