Today I wanted to feature a great photograph from Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Reserve in New Zealand. Taken by Charli Moore and Ben Jones from Wanderlasters Blog. This superb couple travels the world while house sitting in the most beautiful places you can imagine.
Picture Story: Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Reserve, New Zealand
In the heart of New Zealand’s Taupo volcanic region sits the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Reserve. Famed for its colourful pools, sulphur caves and boiling pools of mud. It gives visitors a glimpse of the primordial environment that nurtured the first life on our planet.
Fed by a series of deep underground springs the surrounding volcanic activity heats the water to temperatures of over 200 degrees centigrade causing it to leach minerals from the surrounding rock. As the water rises towards the surface the heat it carries dissipates back into the rock, and by the time it reaches ground level it has cooled to a tepid 74 degrees. Rich in minerals such as gold, silver and mercury it deposits its haul from the depths onto sinter ledges that form around the edges of the springs.
The mix of mineral deposits causes a wealth of neon colours to feature all over the reserve and along with the turbulent bubbling and boiling of inky black mud pools, and the rising sulphuric vapour from the water, a trip to Wai-O-Tapu is eye opening to say the least.
Walking the 3km track that incorporates over 20 examples of geothermal activity provides a wealth of picture postcard photo opportunities. Although the sickly aroma of rotten eggs can be a little overwhelming at times it is worth persevering, or opting to utilise a nose peg, to catch a glimpse of the enchanting creativity of this natural phenomenon.