En route between Taupo and Rotorua today, I diverted off the main highways to visit Orakei Korako, a thermal park I had never visited before. What a treasure it was! When you arrive you see steam rising from the bush across a lake, but you really have no idea how extensive the park is going to be. Access is via a short boat trip over the lake, then most of the track is on boardwalk. That might sound 'modern' and 'contrived', but in fact you feel like you have stepped back into some kind of primitive pre-history.
There was so much to see, and I spent much longer there exploring than I thought that I would: these photos just give you a sample.
One thing that surprised me was how much bubbling hot water there was.
This fault scarp dated back to 131AD and near it there were small geysers blowing water out quite often.
This was called the Artist's Palette.
I loved it at Orakei Korako. There were quite a few visitors, but it never felt crowded. And it felt like I had truly stepped back in time.
Just to finish off- a short bit of video clip of some of the boiling goings-on.