Located at the cauldron of a dormant volcanic mountain, Rotorua enjoys warmer weather than its neighbors. They had their last snow fifty years ago and that didn’t even last a day. We spent some time roaming around the city before settling in for the night at the best bed and breakfast I have ever stayed in. Every time we passed a certain part of town, despite my repeated explanation of the sulfur smell, Fafa was convinced that someone nearby had farted. So on our last morning there, I took him to the fart smell source, Rotorua geyser Whakarewarewa, one of Rotorua’s geothermal sites, located close to the city center, so that we could enjoy our time without feeling rushed to catch the bus back to Auckland.
The first thing that caught my attention, other than the rotten egg smell, was the boiling mud pools. Apparently, the mud is rich in minerals, which makes it very good for the skin. They even have SPAs in Rotorua that cater for people to soak in it. You can also buy the mudpack to take home and pop it over your face, far from the weird looks from others.
And there was the geyser, Pohutu which means, “big splash” (the biggest one in the southern hemisphere). It is the main geyser of the area, spurts up to twenty times per day, and can reach heights of up to 100 feet, a seriously awesome natural phenomenon to see.
Due to the wind, we got a little wet from the splash, though by the time it got to us it was no longer hot. I got reminded of Vivian, who used to put the sulfur water on her face as a quick beauty fix in Hakone, and nothing to argue here, she has flawless skin.
The tour guide explained about Maori carvings and the geothermal activities on this site. He told us that every year they would offer Maori carving scholarships to four male students to study traditional carving. Once they graduate, they usually go back to their hometown to continue the work and teach their own tribe. Interested to learn about these carvings? One of the requirements is you need to be a Maori descendent, even if only one sixteenth, and also you must be a male. Guess I am stuck with scrapbooking for now!
We didn’t spend much time at the Rotorua geyser site; I mean, how long can you stare at the boiling mud pool, right? If I had more time I would definitely stay more than a night in Rotorua and visit the Wai Ta O Po for the colourful geothermal lake and try the mud bath. This time, I only got myself the mud face mask and have been scaring people off ever since.