LIVELY LAND­SCAPES

Rotorua Visitor Guide - - What’s On In -

Ro­torua, home of the Maori tribe of Te Arawa, is known for its geo­ther­mal land­scape. Steam rises from the earth, water boils, mud bub­bles and gey­sers spray sky­ward – the earth’s forces have had vis­i­tors flock­ing to this part of the world since the 19th cen­tury. Ro­torua’s tourism in­dus­try was built around these geo­ther­mal won­ders – but you don’t have to go to a tourist at­trac­tion to see it all. The Ro­torua geo­ther­mal field com­prises more than 1200 geo­ther­mal fea­tures – steamvents known as fu­maroles where water boils un­der­ground and steam es­capes to the sur­face; gey­sers which are formed when ground­wa­ter heats to boil­ing point, pro­duc­ing steamwhich pushes up to the sur­face; boil­ing­mud pools and hot springs. Kuirau Park on the fringe of the cen­tral city is a pic­turesque area with well kept gar­dens, a chil­dren’s play­ground, grassy ar­eas and geo­ther­mal fea­tures in­clud­ing the mud pool which erupted in 2001, spew­ing mud 15 me­tres high over a 30 me­tre ra­dius, singe­ing trees and grass and coat­ing the area in ghostly grey. The area ex­tend­ing from be­hind the Govern­ment Gar­dens and be­yond, to­wards the east­ern sub­urbs of the city, has a walk­ing track through ac­tive geo­ther­mal fea­tures, lead­ing to the Whakare­warewa for­est area. It takes

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