On one of our last days together in Rotorua, Voon, Reena and I took a walk in Kuirau Park. The weather was a bit cold, but the sky was blue and the flowers were in bloom. It was a nice day to be out of the hostel and surrounded by a bit of nature.
After strolling through the flower gardens and around the small pond filled with ducks, we wandered around the many bubbling mud pools. Rotorua sits atop some major thermal activity. The heat from the earth pushes up to the surface of the ground. This causes many naturally heated streams and ponds, which are one of the many reasons why people visit the area.
When there isn’t any water to heat, the steam (and sulfur) push up through the ground causing spots of bubbling mud of varying sizes. The mud pools at Kuirau Park are fenced off and there are warning signs telling visitors to stick to the paths. I suppose these thermal sink holes, if you like, could pop up anywhere so its essential for you to stay on the paths that are already deemed safe. As you walk around, you can see small fissures in the ground where the steam is rising.
In addition to the sulfur, which smells a lot like when you visit Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, there are minerals that rise from the earth. Mineral pools and hot baths are extremely popular activities in Rotorua and many accommodations have their own private hot pools.
The girls and I had a great time snapping photos and just hanging out. I’m really gonna miss them when they leave. It’s weird how traveling seems to bring people together and friendships form so quickly. It feels like we’ve known each other for ages and ages even though it’s only been a couple of weeks.