Rotorua ~ New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Luke and Sabrina are friends of mine from American Samoa.  They left the island and ended up moving to Astoria, Oregon.  We decided to meet up in New Zealand for a month of tramping and exploring.

The Rotorua area is famous for its geothermic activity.  After Sabrina and Luke met me in Auckland, we headed down to investigate.

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Sabrina and Luke

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Steamboat On Rotorua Lake

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Black Swan

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Lake Rotorua

The first day we figured we needed a shake-out before starting our long tramps, so went hiking around a few lakes.  Accidentally. We arrived at a lake while driving along our path and were hiking for a bit when I sort of realized that it wasn’t nearly large enough to be the lake we intended to hike!  SO we went back to the car and drove a little further to the correct lake. Which was already a 4 hour hike.  The extra hour at Tikitapu was nice, regardless!

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New Zealand blueberry (Dianella nigra)

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Tikitapu or Blue Lake

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Honeysuckle!  Probably an introduced pest, but I haven’t seen it since I was a kid…  Still tastes the same!

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I like to let others walk in front so they clear all the webs : )

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Mushrooms (Scaly Pholiota or Pholiota squarrosa)

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Lake Tarawera ~ our intended lake hike for the day!

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Lake Tarawera

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Foxglove (Digitalis) ~ I miss this flower, it is all over the Pacific NW.  For all you medical folks, yes, digoxin is made from several species of this plant.

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Our hike ended at this ‘hot water beach’.  It was quite busy as it was a holiday weekend.

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The hot water springs flow down into the lake.  The water’s edge as well as shallow depths into the sand are scalding hot!

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You choose your desired heat by your proximity to the hot water flowing into the lake.

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Hot spring.  Several folks had foil-wrapped food cooking in the sand!

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The steaming behind the tree branch is a very hot area!

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Lake Tarawera

 

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