Last night while making dinner we met a new friend named Richard. He’s a Kiwi from up north staying at the hostel while he locks down some property as his family moves down. After learning about his family’s farm and some chit chat, he offered us a ride down to a place called Kerosene Creek. We made a quick stop at Waiotapu but found out it costs $34 a head. We instead took the free option and stopped by the revolting sounding and smelling mud pits.
As gross as the mud plops were, when you reach the top of the trail the view is pretty amazing. Until the rotten egg smell catches back up to you.
Unlike most of the other geothermal areas, it is free to visit and you can swim in the heated water! After sleeping in past sunrise (a first for us since we arrived), we headed down to his car and were on our way. The path to the trail looks like a bombed out road, completely covered in car rattling pot holes. Once we navigated our way to the back, we headed down a scenic trail filled with little waterfalls.
About midway we reach the largest falls, which had steam pouring from them. We slowly waited for Richard to get in to confirm that the water was in fact warm. Sure enough it was! The water is luke warm and if you bury your feet or hands into the sands below you will be surprised by how toasty you can get.
We even met a girl from Shanghai named Mai who was just passing by and decided to join us. After about a half hour we reemerged into the cold winter weather, soaking wet and changed into dry clothes. Some other backpackers from the States even snapped a photo for us.
Tonight we will be experiencing our first ever rugby game as the Australian Wallabies take on the NZ All Blacks in their annual rivalry game. It should be really exciting to see the world champs play their neighbors and to see the famous All Blacks Haka. More to come tomorrow!
Don’t wear your wedding ring in sulfur water. They used to be the same color. Granted I only spent $17 on my wedding ring, but it’s still a sad day.