Sunday, February 14, 2010

From Auckland to the Coromandel to Tauranga and Rotorua

Sunday, February 14, 2010 and white terraces

We drove out of Rotorua (Roto = lake, rua=2 ergo the second lake) and headed to a spot called waimangu where we got on a boat and drove over the Lake Rotomahana. Lots of geothermal activity around the lake bed and sadly the water table of the lake is now some 40 meters ABOVE the former pink and white Terraces - a former New Zealand 8th modern wonder of the world which where totally destroyed during a terrible volcano event in June 1886. These terraces are being credited with the first tourist venture in 1860 for New Zealand.

However having been on the boat and seen some thermal activity like this one, where a constant hot bubbling water is being pumped out - I can confidently predict that in - oh about - 800 years or so, there will be some more wonders to be seen. I of course won't be around to enjoy them then, but hey - nature does what nature does best - in its own sweet time.

It is amazing - a constant hot water streams out from this little whole - at oh around 95 degrees!!
The whole point of the trip to Waimangu was to see the actual location of the once disaster area - and see the ongoing activities. It is amazing to see how the landscape has changed because of it - and is continually changing!!

Afterward we headed to the Buried Village, where we saw a mock model of the now famously defunct terraces. A impressive structure that took a long time to build - some 100o years or so.
Anyhow - the eruption also killed some 160 people in several outlying villages and this particular village was the closest you got the early tourist center. From here they where taken via boat and some walking and another boat trip to the Terraces.

We were taken round by this lovely Lady called Sandy (who has pretty much lived her entire life in this region) and has heard first hand eye accounts of the event from some distant surviving folks, and ergo has some very interesting stories to tell about the people who lived and worked here. The entire village first of all got flattened by the mud from the eruption and then the secondary eruption - which spew water up - thus showering the village with a second layer of dust/mud of up to 2 meters deep. Many of the places have since been dug up again and along with photos and storyboards make for a very interesting walk about.

Here mamabear is inside the former Village smith's place with the 2 distinct layers showing. You can observe the height - above her head.

Afterward's we had a quick drive down to lake Tarawera and of course saw the semi dead volcano (distant top right side of picture) - another lovely sunny and hot day! We so gonna be cold when we get back to Christchurch - their days hi temp was a solitary and very sorry 14 C
- and THAT at 7 pm!!

Having seen enough mud and hot stinky (lots of sulphur smells around here) water geysers we actually wanted to see the local town - so we did! Here is the Bathhouse in Rotorua - complete with some roof missing!! (far right) They must be rebuilding something, dunno it was so nice outside we couldn't bear going inside and find out!!

Pam Sister (who shall remain nameless) has her own pool - and she NEVER told us. Shame.
Incredible - this is a solid pool of hot water - providing plenty of warm water. Amazingly enough u can have your house in the section and maybe one day (literally overnight) have a small eruption take place in your garden. It is not unheard of that some houses had to shift, simple because nature decided right there was a good spot to spout forth some central heating!!

Anyhow - back home wards tomorrow - via a special Blueberry farm. This should be fun.
sigh then back to "normal" reality

March 6th - a post script
I was hunting for stuff on the net when by chance i came across these 6 video clips - which is obviously a TVNZ on air production - subject - the destruction of the famous pink and white terraces. Having just visited there - i felt strongly enou8gh about the subject matter - and post the code here - maybe someone else will watch it


bear print

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