Located within the city limits of Rotorua, Te Puia is home to some amazing geothermal activity, including boiling mud pools, hot springs, and geysers.
Te Pui is also the area where the Maori settled in the 1300s and have been living there ever since. The people from the Te Arawa tribe made their home here. Te Puia has two important attractions :
- Te Whakarewarewa Valley
- Maori model village
Te Whakarewarewa Valley
The geothermal activity is centered around the Te Whakarewarewa valley in Te Puia. There are bubbling mud pools, geysers and hot springs in this area.
Boiling Mud Pool
The image below shows a pool of boiling and bubbling slurry of gray mud in the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley. These pools are known as mud pools or mud pots.
Mud pools are a typical occurrence in geothermal areas. They occur when the acids, gases, and microorganisms emanating from the underground geothermal activity break down the rocks into the mud. If the water supply is limited, the mud becomes a viscous slurry, which boils and bubbles because of the high temperature.
The image below shows a beautiful pool with water flown into it from geothermal activity in the Te Whakarewarewa valley. The water sprouted from the geysers flows though underground channels into many pools spread around this area. Because of the dissolved minerals, the water in these pools is alkaline.
Whakarewarewa Geyser Terrace
The geyser terrace has six geysers, of which three are active, two are occasionally active and one is dormant. There is a nice walk to this terrace for visitors to watch the geyser eruptions.
Pohutu and Prince of Wales Feathers Geysers
The Pohutu geyser is one of the most active among the six geysers on the Whakarewarewa geyser terrace and the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere.
Pohutu in Maori means big splash, which is an appropriate name for this geyser as it can shoot up water to a height of 100 feet. The eruption occurs once or twice in an hour and can last up to 30 minutes.
The Pohutu geyser has a twin named Prince of Wales Feathers (Te Tohu in Maori). The shape of this geyser resembles a feather. When the Prince of Wales visited the area in the 1900s, it was named Prince of Wales Feathers to honor him. Prince of Wales Feathers typically erupts slightly before Pohutu, and its eruption can last up to seven minutes.
The images below show Pohutu and Prince of Wales Feathers before and during its eruption.
As the name suggests, the Blueys Pool is a small pool of cobalt blue water flown into it from the nearby geysers. It is situated next to the Pohutu geyser. A variety of minerals dissolved in this water gives it the blue color and also makes it alkaline.
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