My aunt has nicknamed Rotorua “Rottenrua”, and with good reason. It *pongs*. Baaaadly.

It’s a town in the middle of the North Island in an area where there’s a lot of geothermal activity. You can be driving down the road and suddenly you’ll see a vertical plume of steam shoot up from in between the pavement here and there.

Then over to one side you’ll see steam wafting about above quite large areas of parkland, like some early morning mist but at all times of the day and night.

In places, the water or mud in these pools and crevices reaches over 100 degrees Celsius.

The trees round about are often covered in yellow sulphur and withering away.

What amazes me is how so much greenery still survives so nearby these mud pools spewing noxious fumes all the time. And a lot of birds seem to find a habitat nearby, able to nest all year round thanks to the warmth created by it all.

“Champagne Lake”, which permanently bubbles. Fancy a drink??? 👇🏼😉🤢

Green caused by algae encouraged by the warmth:

“Artist’s Palette”, which I thought was the most beautiful geothermal lake we saw:

If this was a chemistry experiment, you’d expect it to be allowed to happen only in a fume cupboard. After a couple of hours of exploring these weird and wonderful sights, I felt like I could almost taste the acid in my mouth and feel it in my stomach.

Thanks, Rotorua. Your extraordinary muds and minerals may be great for our skin, but I won’t miss your smell!

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