So if you’re in Rotorua, New Zealand, you have to remember not to miss out on the Geothermal Area at Wai-O-Tapu! The other two features of this volcanic area, sure. But this one, no! Because the series of small lakes with radiant colors of orange, green, yellow, pink and so on are nothing short of sublime! The surrounding woods also add to the beauty. The only drawback this day was the fog, which made it a little less spectacular 🙁 There are three differently sized tracks (the medium one takes about an hour), and a visitor centre with a souvenir shop and a cafe. What you however can leave out is Lady Knox Geyser, which was a huge disappointment! A man-made geyser – that is far from impressive when you’ve experienced Iceland’s magnificent Geysir. In other words, go to Iceland instead! The third feature of Wai-O-Tapu is the Mud Pool, which in my opinion is just ok – nothing more, nothing less.
My hostel booked the day trip to Wai-O-Tapu with a company called Headfirst Travel (travelheadfirst.com), which worked fine. On the 30 km or so drive we stopped at the geyser and the mud pool before arriving at the Geothermal Area. At the latter we could stay more or less as long as we wanted as we had a few different return times to choose from.