Wai-o-Tapu thermal wonders
Getting acquainted with the sights of the Taupo volcanic zone, you can not ignore another small, but very well-known place in the whole world-the unique geothermal zone of UAI-o-Tapu. This small area of volcanic activity is located among charming, untouched forests on the very border of Huaikato, twenty-seven kilometers from Rotorua and fifty kilometers from Taupo. Route 5, which connects Rotorua with Taupo, leads here. In Aim-o-Tapu is also the start of route No. 38, which is the land of Urewera you can reach Napier in hawke’s Bay. The UAI-o-Tapu region is known for the fact that as a result of age-old volcanic activity, there are about twenty-five unique-unusual, unparalleled and very beautiful hot springs, mud baths and other geothermal objects.
The geothermal area of UAI-o-Tapu is relatively young. It was formed over a fairly short historical period, about nine centuries ago. Polynesian settlers chose this territory almost immediately upon arrival. Most likely they were Ngati Uoaa people who lived in the district of UAI-o-Tapu until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when there were other immigrants, but from Europe. According to legend, the Ngati Uoaa were one of the first Polynesians to set foot on the shore of Aotearoa, disembarking from the arava canoe. They gave the name to this extraordinary place. The primitive Maori did not understand what was happening, but as all primitive people were afraid of the unknown, and therefore called the Smoking and bubbling land, with iridescent springs of different colors, Wai-o-Tapu, which means “sacred waters”, or “forbidden waters”. In any case, this area was sacred to the Maori, revered and protected. Civilized Europeans have a very different attitude to unusual sources. They realized very early that this is a unique tourist attraction and it can bring glory and prosperity to the country. But only decades later, in 1931, the area received protection from the state as a protected area.
Today, the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland-“waiotapu-0-Tapu thermal Wonderland”-is an area of increased volcanic activity. People come here from far away to see this miracle and admire its beauty. Especially a lot of foreign tourists and this is natural. After all, you can’t see this everywhere. The geothermal area of this area is small and is only 18 square kilometers, and the territory of the reserve itself is even smaller. But on this small piece of land, quite compactly mother nature focuses a lot of attractions. All of them are unusual, but the most popular and famous are the crater Pool with champagne, the artist’s multi-colored Palette, the Lady Knox geyser, a beautiful lake with the ugly name of the devil’s bath. All of them, with the exception of the Lady Knox Geyser, are located on the territory of the reserve itself, and the famous geyser is a short walk from the entrance.
First of all, Champagne Pool is a Pool with champagne. This reservoir is located in a crater with a diameter of 65 meters and has a maximum depth of 62 meters. As you can see, the lake is quite deep. It looks like a glass, and it bubbles with a foaming drink, most likely champagne. From this and name. In fact, it is a liquid saturated with carbon, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, methane, a little oxygen, and God knows what else. The water in the glass comes from the ground, where it has a high temperature, about 260 degrees. Rising to the surface, the liquid cools below the boiling point, 73-75 degrees. A large number of semi-metals in the water settle on the bottom of the reservoir and give it an orange color. But the most interesting thing is that there is life in this poisonous, hot slime. Of course, there is no lush vegetation and waterfowl representatives of the underwater Kingdom, but some types of thermophilic (thermophilic) microorganisms are present.
Pouring out of a Glass of champagne, the water spreads and forms another splendor. It’s called the artist’s Palette. This is a multi-colored, not deep lake filled with water that has cooled to fifteen degrees, which is mainly dominated by antimony, which gives the lake a brownish hue. Many attractions in Wai-o-Tapu have strange names, such as” the devil’s House”,” the devil’s Inkwell “or”the devil’s bath” -the most beautiful place of all the devil’s places. This is a large crater with very beautiful greenish-yellow water reflected in the sun’s rays.
But perhaps the most interesting place in the Park is the famous Lady Knox geyser. It was discovered in the early twentieth century, and therefore did not acquire, like other geographical features of New Zealand, a Maori name. Lady Knox geyser is not located in the reserve itself, and not far from the entrance to it. He is very punctual and throws out water at exactly 10: 15 in the morning. Although this happens not by the will of the forces of nature, but by the will of man. The fact is that a soap solution is poured into the geyser and the geyser explodes. The discovery of this phenomenon belongs to prisoners who, at the beginning of the twentieth century, decided to wash their clothes in hot spring water and accidentally added soap to it. Later, it was found that the geyser consists of two chambers filled with hot and cold water, which, as a result of soap ingress, is mixed, causes a reaction and is ejected from the geyser’s mouth. At first, the column of water rose to a height of up to five meters, but when in 1906, an iron pipe was hammered into it, it began to spit, depending on the weather, up to twenty meters. And the name of the geyser is due to Constance Knox, the second daughter of the then Governor of New Zealand, Walter Knox, who visited these places, inspecting with her father, created in 1901, the prison for criminals who distinguished themselves by good behavior.