Thursday, March 4, 2010

North Island Day 6

We were all very excited about watching a geyser erupt. All the advertising showed "erupts daily at 10:15am". Well, 10:15 came and went and so we started wondering about this all. Then our "guide" arrived and told us about "Lady Knox Geyser" and how he was going to "set her off" as it were. So the geyser would erupt on it's own but to make more money I suppose they just trigger the reaction so that it is there for us all to watch at a certain time each day.
The story of how it was discovered was quite funny. Picture people going down to the hot water to wash their clothes. They rub their soap in and when they put their washing back in the hot water to rinse off - BANG!!!! Clothes go flying up and people fly off into the surrounding bush to take cover. It must have been really scary when not expected.
So the guide basically puts a substance into the geyser (something that is safe for the environment) which causes the same chemical reaction and the same erupting effect. Even though it was triggered it was still quite amazing to watch.

We had an early lunch at the information center and then headed off for our walk around Wai-O-Tapu.
It was really fascinating to see all the different colours.

"Crossing the Terrace on the Boardwalk. An experience unique to Wai-O-Tapu. The structure sits on the very edge of the firmer ground associated with the terraces. It rests on specially treated timber and is secured by stainless steel pins."
This must be one of the most amazing with this incredible orange.
Brendon could not resist touching the water (he had seen a guide picking something up out of the water - so guessed it must be safe).
So Rachel asked if she could touch the side here. Amazing the details that has formed.
They were touching along the side of this. A huge section. "These sinter terraces are the largest in New Zealand. The water from the champagne Pool (the one with the orange) contains dissolved silica which, as the water evaporates, is deposited as siliceous sinter. They are regarded as being very fragile and have been forming at a variable rate over the last 700 years currently covering an area of about 1.5 hectares (3 acres).
The colour of this pool almost matched my top exactly. We realized after we left that we should have taken some of the photos through our sun glasses as it would have given you a better idea of how rich and bright these colours were.

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