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I decided to include this small map to give you all an indication of where Rotorua is in relation to Tauranga. The blue indicates the lake area and the pink indicates the Bay of Plenty which is the region in which both Rotorua and Tauranga belong too. It’s not comprehensive (for example there’s no mention of Mount Maunganui) but it’s better than no map at all! You can also view it in a larger image by clicking on it.  So…on with the post! This is the last Rotorua post and I’ll be back to showing  areas a bit closer to home from now.

Behind the Rotorua Memorial Park playground there was a carnival set up and this ferris wheel caught my attention. I love the contrast of both the colours and structure againts the sky and took atleast 6 other photos similar to this!

You can’t tell from this photo but just shortly after I took it the rain came! 3 kids in tow we decided it was going to be easier to make a run for it to the car than to wait it out so we left before I got any more photos of the carnival. This photo above is also my 2 things challenge entry for Solid/Pattern, you can see it here in large format. If you’d like to learn more about  Rotorua please read my other posts- Rotorua lakes and Rotorua Geothermal.



Even sooner….this blogs first birthday! That’s tomorrow!!! Wow, watch this space!

 Another of Rotorua’s natural attractions are it’s lakes. After visiting some of the thermal sites we got fish and chips and took them to the lake. We were definately not alone but the park is big enough and well laid out so we didn’t feel cramped. The highlight of the lake visit was definately the arrival of a large 2 story paddle boat and the departure of a helicopter from the wharf. Rumour has it that some people actually fish for trout from helicopters. Talk about flash!

The helicopter taking off drew the attention of the tour groups away from the black swans which were posing for the cameras. There are actually signs all over the place saying “Don’t feed the black swans. They may attack” however nobody paid attention to them!

My son watched eagerly too, the many ducks couldn’t have cared less though!

Finally…Lift off!

Relax! As close as it looks the photo below dosn’t really capture a helicopter attempting to fly between the sign posts of this 2 story paddle ferry! This is an illusion created by the angle of the helicopter and me.

The boat just happened to arrive with a boatload of passengers while we were there. Talk about good timing!

Rotorua’s lakes are a huge asset to the area. Not only do they provide revenue for the district they provide a  home to many sea birds and fish. People can picnic on the shores and children can play in the large playground, it’s all at my favorite price too! FREE!! Fresh air, family time and plenty of photo opportunities. What more can a girl want?

Read more about the lakes here.

 “From the moment visitors enter Rotorua, they know they are somewhere unique. Steam rises from cracks, gardens, pathways and even residential streets. This, together with the distinctive scent of sulphur, signals to visitors that they are in the centre of an active thermal area. Just minutes from city centre there are geysers, boiling pools of mud, silica terraces, mud fumeroles and volcanoes.” Read more at the official Rotorua website.  This site is great! Loads of information for both real and virtual visitors. 

You can see the jets of hot water bubble up through the mud. It is steam that rises from this water and changes the visual landscape with each breeze of wind. It was hard taking photos at times because my camea simply couldn’t focus on the moving steam! I would love to go back and play with the different functions and manually explore different shutter speeds, Rotorua’s thermal spots could keep me entertained for a long time! The area is not hot (well I imagine the water is…) or hard to breathe in like a steamy room can be. It’s quite relaxing and next time I go it will be just my camera and me. I literally lost sight of my dh and kids at times due to the steam making visabilty hard. It was an awesome experience though and if I lived closer it would fast become a second home to me I think! The type of place you could take a hundred photos (I took over that…lol) and not get 2 the same. I got some beaut shots which I am saving for my new photography business venture (still in it’s baby stages so watch this space!)

Speaking of baby….here’s my not so little baby standing on the walkway. The others didn’t want to hang around while Mum took photos of STEAM!

Below are some of the surreal scenes created by the geothermal activity.

It was an amazing experience and even better is that it was free. Always a good option when its the school holidays and you have kids to entertain. It was also flat and well maintained and well sign posted. Some parts of Rotorua really do smell like sulphar although strangely enough in this area there was hardly a wiff!