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New Zealand's North Island: Whakatane District, Rotorua with Wai-O-Tapu


Our New Zealand Road Trip started on the North Island. Due to time constraints, we quickly left Auckland behind and drove straight to Whakatane. Unfortunately, we missed the Cape Reinga in the Northland and also the region Coromandel . There were many other beautiful places waiting for us.

Overnight: Ramarama Country Caravan Park

The beautiful shores of the Whakatane district

Our main reason to travel to Whakatane was a planned trip to White Island . Unfortunately, the boat trip had to be canceled because of the weather conditions. A pity.

Alternatively, we took the camper to Kohi Point Lookout and walked part of the Kohi Point Scenic Track , which started right at our parking lot for the night. The path was easy to walk and we had some great views of the coast. On the way we saw many small caves and wondered if maybe there kiwis are home. Unfortunately we have never experienced that.

Overnight: West End Beach

Hot springs and the first bubbling

The next morning we drove on towards Rotorua. The first stop was at the Waitangi Soda Springs . Here two hot streams meet in a natural pond. We were there for almost an hour all alone and stayed until we were able to grow webbeds. If it gets a bit cooler you just swim 2-3 paces towards the source and it's warm and cozy again.

As a small stop the Okere Falls were on the way. We ran the small path with the various viewpoints and watched a few rafters as they plunged into the water.
In Kuirau Park in Rotorua you can visit for free a few bubbling mud pools and other sources and get a taste of the huge thermal area Wai-O-Tapu. Equally free of charge is a visit to the entertaining Waiotapu track shortly after the branch to the thermal area.

On the way is the Kerosene Creek, which is also fed by a hot spring. Unfortunately, the good, cozy places were already occupied. After there (apparently) again and again to thefts in the parking lot, we did not want to leave the car alone and drove relatively fast to our camp spot for the night.

Overnight: Waiotapu Tavern

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

The next morning we went to the entrance of Wai-O-Tapu to buy the tickets for the day. You can also buy them online . Then we drove back a bit by car, because every day at 10:15 clock the Lady Knox geyser is triggered by a soapy water. And of course we did not want to miss that. But you can not compare that to the geyser Strokkur in Iceland . Rather, I felt like in America because the whole thing with presentation is almost raised as a show (for many people).
It was nice to watch anyway :-)
Then we made the circular walk in the thermal area. With a lot of sulfur, steam and stink. In addition, there are the sometimes incredible colors, such as the champagne pool. This looks so unreal that you only believe it if you have seen the shades with your own eyes.
Then we went to Tongariro National Park - Post follows!

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