last year we went to new zealand, and it was really really really really really wonderful. really. go if you at all can; it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. really.
so here are some pictures.
driving around the coromandel peninsula we stopped at the rapaura water gardens (which was exactly that, gardens with pools of water), and this sign was on the short hike up to a waterfall.
these rocks are on hot water beach, a beach with a hot spring underneath. supposedly if you dig a hole in the sand you can have a hot soak (didn't work for us--maybe it would have if we'd had a shovel!).
apparently the town of coromandel is renowned for their sausage! i'm particularly fond of the three apparently dancing sausages on the award sheet.
the lady knox geyser in the waiotapu thermal park. this geyser is really cool: it's set off every day at the same time, by pouring soap powder into it!
this is the champagne pool, a really cool geothermal pool. we took a few pictures of this ourselves, but none of them turned out as well as this postcard because there was so much steam rising from the pool. (fellow geeks may recognize this pool from the credits of "hercules the legendary journeys")
also at waiotapu, this pool is called the devil's bathtub. needless to say, this whole area was really smelly (sulfur, methane, etc.) but really neat regardless.
bubbling mud pits at waiotapu. watching these is actually really soothing.
prawn park is the world's *only* geothermally heated freshwater prawn farm...and here they are, the prawns! the tour guide was this hilarious surfer dude, and he called the metal cages they put in the tanks for the prawns to hang out in "prawndominiums." the best thing about the prawns though was that, after looking at how they're raised, you can go to the restaurant and eat them!
on the drive into the town of taupo we passed the "super loo." what makes it super, we will never know.
this is at te papa, the museum of nz, in wellington, and this is a postcard of the huge marae in te papa. marae are traditional maori meeting houses, and this one is decorated with carvings depicting all kinds of new zealanders going about all kinds of different work, among others.
from wellington we drove northwest to waitomo to see the caves there. not only are the caves filled with spectacular limestone stalagmite-and-tites, but they are also home to glo-worms, which live on the ceilings and emit an eerie green glow. (they wouldn't let you take pictures inside, hence the postcard). the worms only live where there's water, so you have to get in a boat and travel through the cave on the river to see them. really excellent.
couldn't resist taking a picture of this sign. too much!
on the final day in NZ we did what anyone would do with one day left: drove west of auckland to see the beaches on which xena warrior princess is filmed. (this one is in the credits, i think.) the beaches are partially black sand here, from all of the volcanic activity.
hope you like these!
back to travel