Our last day down in Rotorua involved a visit to Orakei Korako, so arm yourself with a cuppa and a cake (or two!) and come on a journey with me round this beautiful 'Hidden Valley' which is one of Mum's most favourite geothermal places to visit.
Orakei Korako means 'The place of adjoining' when translated into English and has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years (apart from the changes caused by geothermal activity and unfortunately an earthquake a couple of years ago (more on that later).
You can see in the distance where we will be travelling to....we have to go over by boat.
Watching through the window on the boat, I am so excited.
Almost there, the first sight is this wonderful terrace.
There are safe walkways that protect the environment and also help us get up close to the fabulous sights.
Just look at this.
To keep costs down and to also protect the environment from those who are tempted to just discard rubbish, they don't give out a guide/brochure, but instead have information boards around the site.
To get this close to such an amazing creation by the earth, is just incredible.
The colours are amazing, but don't really show through in these photographs.
Steam rising everywhere.
My person! She loves it here as you can tell by her big smile.
Taking a walk through the bush and the natural beauty is a real treat.
Just look at this!
Apparently scenes from the BBC Natuarl History Series 'Walking with Dinosaurs' were filmed here, and you can well believe it.
It really does look like an Elephant's head!
We pretty much had the place to ourselves, and what a treat that was. Thankfully it hasn't been spoiled by the 'over tourism' that some of the other places have. Its isolation from the outside world has helped preserve it.
You used to be able to go down inside this cave, and the water would clean any jewellery you had on. Sadly due to an earthquake a couple of years ago, it is not what it used to be and is no longer safe to do so, so they have had to close it off.
Looking down into a hole that was bubbling...
Plopping and boiling, bubbling mud.
So peaceful and just simply stunning.
We could have spent all day here, but sadly it was time to go...
Travelling back over the water.
Saying goodbye Orakei Korako.
Our boat driver was a real good sort and proudly posed with me...although I seem to be looking skyward for some reason!
Thank you for being such a good sport!
Just a few panoramic views to end this journey. I hope you enjoyed taking it with me.