Saturday, September 15, 2007

NZ - Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

I’m in New Zealand representing Signs at the ARPA Awards. Since I was making the international trip I thought I would lengthen my stay a bit and talk to some primary students about Jesus as well as experience some of New Zealand natural beauty.

I arrived just after Midnight on Thursday morning, got my hire car (more on that little beauty later!) and drove to Hamilton. I arrived in Hamilton about 3am and slept until dawn in the car. At 9am I spoke to the students at the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Primary School. After chapel I told a bible story to the Preschoolers. That was heaps of fun!

Thursday afternoon I drove to Tauranga – a fantastic winding road – and found my lodging. On Friday morning I spoke the students at Tauranga Seventh-day Adventist Primary School. Another great bunch of kids! After Chapel I showed the senior students what I do at Signs. We hooked the laptop to their projector and walked them through the design process of a Signs magazine.

Friday afternoon I drove to Rotarua and found the caravan park. Then I went for a walk through Kuirau Park – a thermal reserve with boiling lakes right next to the Top 10 Caravan Park I am staying in! It’s amazing to see boiling mud and steaming lakes in the middle of a city park.

Today, Saturday, I went to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. It was amazing. Here are some of my pics.

The first thing I saw was a geyser that they coax into erupting each day at 10:15am. The guide told the story of the geyser – some prisoners who were clearing the land for a man-made forest found a hot pool.

When they got in the pool to swim, nothing happened. But when they brought their soap to have a bath, they set off a reaction — the soap lowered the surface tension which allowed the hot water underneath to burst forth into a frothing bubbling cauldron.

They decided to cap the inferno to cause a geyser, they piled stones around the edge and concreted it over. So, now there’s a geyser that shoots over 20 feet into the air once in every 36 to 48 hours. So, to make it more scheduled for tourists, they add soap every morning at 10:15am. And… Kaboom!

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