The following pictures are a bit jumbled in my timeline, and from here on out in my posts I think I’ll have to be that way. My memories of all we did in our 10 days blend together in my mind like smoky shafts of light.
On Tuesday morning we awoke to a bright sun rising above jungly south pacific isles. It is where I first discovered the iridescent whorl shells New Zealand beaches are covered in, and the polka dotted gulls who stamp their feet trying to get them to come to the surface.
The next day (after hobbiton and glow worms and sea town faring) we found ourselves in Rotorua. We nicknamed it New Zealand’s Tacoma because its part of the lake is aptly named Sulfur Bay. Woah, nelly. (It’s actually way worse than Tacoma…so no offense T-town peeps!) From that point on in the trip any fart was announced with a loud, aussie accented “Rotorua!”
The lake was a lovely murky shade of mint and bubbled and steamed in primordial lava looking pools. The town itself had a museum we visited the gift/book shop of. This was where I discovered the Mauri people (native New Zealanders) call moths “Children of the Stars,” and I proceeded to get teary eyed in a public place.
I had been advised not to go swimming in the spa there because the smell takes several washes to get out of your swim suit (“togs” if your’re a kiwi), but a friendly guide suggested we try going to Rainbow Creek toward Tongoriro (where Mordor was filmed). That was the direction we were heading so we decided to wing it and see what we found.
We found paradise.
We picked a little hike and I screeched in excitement all the way up to find a brilliant aqua hot spring. I was wearing the same color! We found bright purple berries and more tree ferns and big brown butterflies. I was so happy!
Along the way we drove right up to a jade green lake, steaming at one end. The color was gorgeous! I kind of wish we’d lingered a little longer to take a dip, but we were excited to find the hot spring we had heard about from the kiwi. Now, the spring had an awful awful name. I don’t even remember the name because we promised we would remember it as Rainbow Spring (for the creek it made).
It was amazing! A perfectly bath-hot river bubbling through a froth of emerald ferns. The terrain in that particular area was more craggy with dry pines, but along the warm water it was perfect for sub tropical plants. Families were swimming and relaxing in it, and we took a chance to soothe our feet after our hike.
I was so enchanted because I had written just such a creek into my moth fairy book, not knowing that such a thing really existed. I sat there in awe and disbelief that such a thing could really be outside of my imagination, and there it was. And I even named a waterfall painting Rainbow Glen!
And as if that wasn’t enough, there were several tent caterpillar nests along the creek. (another feature in my book) All the stars aligned in a flurry of dust covered wings that day. (And that wasn’t the end of it!)
Oh! I remember the name. Kerosene Creek. That IS awful, isn’t it? But the pictures are lovely. Enjoy!