After a day of resting we thought we would try to do a bit better today, first stop was Huka Falls. It was a pretty large volume of water passing a pretty tight crevice in a pretty decent speed. Apparently the turbines here generate about 15% of whole New Zealands needs, and I guess the thermal provides a healthy chunk for the remaining needs.
We drove off towards Rotorua, and since Juni had dozed off and slept like a baby we headed all the way to Hamurana Springs north east of Rotorua. On the way to the actual spring we passed through a redwood forest – a early one comparing to the Canadian counterparts but impressive none the less. They were planted, as other various type of trees, to see what grew well and what not. Redwood didn’t become a huge success but it sure looked nice.
The spring and downstream streams are the clearest water I’ve ever seen in nature. It’s quite surreal to see the bottom clearly where there are fish, swans or ducks. The spring itself was one of the highlights so far, the water flowing from it (approximately two olympic swimming pools per hour) was that clear since it’s spent the last 70 years being filtered through the mountain.
We doubled back after enjoying the serenity and views and planned to stop by Wai-o-Tapu but turns out that would close in 15 minutes after we got there but we could at least check out the nearby mud-pools where mud, sort of as the name implies, builder due to various thermal things. The lovely sulphur smell of rotten egg was also present.
We then drove to Waikite just half a mile across the highway for some thermal pools. It wasn’t many people there but the pools were great with various temperatures, some infinity pools and they were all heated by the neighbouring boiling river. Yep, a large part of the river evaporates since it’s boiling water than runs there. Weird.
After soaking a few hours in various pools with Juni we left as happy raisins and left home for a late snack that Mona pulled together from various left-overs from the day before.