Rotorua the most colorful spot in New Zealand

I am really enjoying revisiting my photos from our trip to New Zealand, even though it is now almost 5 months after. How has so much time passed?

While life in the US persists in a heightened level of tension with constant political chaos, today I get to temporarily fall back to a peaceful and relaxed time. I remember it was a very warm day, the warmest we had experienced up til this point of the trip.

We left our lovely airbnb in Eskdale, just north of Napier, and drove inland and north towards the center of the north island. We drove through rolling green fields that became increasingly covered with forrest. A lot of redwood grows in New Zealand, and because of the rich volcanic soil it grows in 1/3 of the time it takes to grow in California, but as a result the wood is softer.

When we arrived at Taupo we stopped to admire the view of the lake and then get lunch, where I had one of my favorites:  poached eggs over smoked salmon on toast with a flat white coffee.

Taupo is surrounded by mountains and is a popular spot for skiing.
After lunch, we drove to nearby Huka Falls where the water is the most glorious shade of frosty aqua blue.

On our way to the town of Rotorua, our destination for the evening, we stopped at Wai-O-tapu Thermal Wonderland to hike. This area is one of the youngest geothermals on the planet and was created by a massive earthquake that brought up minerals from deep in the earth that paint the landscape in glorious color.

The last time I was here in April 2010, it was overcast, drizzling and chilly. I remember it had a mild sulphuric odor, but that was nothing compared to the level of smell (stink?) on this warm day!

The Champaign pool is one of the most photographed features in Wai-O-tapu.

That’s some hot water!


I am enamored by the unusual colored milky-green and yellow waters.

Colorful minerals

What a glorious reveal we had following this woodsy path.

The water was a beautiful jade green.

One of the wonderfully fun things to see is the ponds of boiling gray mud, that bubbles and blurbs, spurting fountains of hot mud a foot in the air. You can buy bars of soap as well as tubes of this clay for healing masks. This region has a number of places where you can soak in the mud and hot mineral baths. Heaven!

What a fabulous day!

After our long hike we drove to our airbnb which was high on a hill with the most gorgeous view of Lake Rotorua.

Keep creating, Judy

I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:

May 4-6 Nadelweldt, Karlsruhe, Germany
Exhibition and workshops

June 1-2 Meissners, Sacramento Blooming Inspiration

July 27-28 Meissners, Santa Rosa Blessings in the wind; mixed-media prayer flags

August 14-18, 2018 Woodland Ridge Retreat, WI
5 – day Paint and Print-a-palooza retreat

October 19-21 Ephemera Paducah, Paducah, KY
Tea and Ephemera and Blessings in the wind: mixed-media prayer flags

October 27 Meissners, Sacramento, Fiesta Ornaments

IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

6 Responses to “Rotorua the most colorful spot in New Zealand”

  1. Janice says:

    Judy, The second photo of the grass field is absolutely lovely. It would be a wonderful subject for a quilted or embroidered landscape.

    I have truly enjoyed seeing all of your photos from your New Zealand trip.

    • Hi Janice,

      as we drove around New Zealand I was very conscious about wanting to implant what I was seeing into my memory. There were so many things I found inspiring that I was buzzing and yearning to be able to get into the studio to work. I wish I had more free time to just create!

  2. Joanie Wallrich says:

    Hi Judy,
    Your photos are wonderful, such great memories for you. Thanks to you, I have enjoyed a beautiful glimpse of New Zealand.

  3. Fabulous to see all these photos Judy, especially these from Rotorua and surrounds – I went to primary school there, and we had wonderful fun at all the thermal areas around. Back in the day we were able to go everywhere free, and soak in hot pools in many places, out in the open under a starry sky, it was heaven. We used to take the boat over to Mokoia Island and swim then warm up in Hinemoa’s Pool. I don’t think it’s open to the public anymore. As for the smell, it is amazing how you get used to it, and don’t even notice it when you live there! But it was always great to go other places, and be able to smell everything else like dusty roads, rain on the grass, new mown lawns, and roses!

    • Oh my gosh Sue, how marvelous your childhood must have been. Thank you for sharing that! You’re right about the smell, it doesn’t take long before you no longer notice it. This day at Wai-otapu was particularly pungent though, there was a young European couple with 3 kids also hiking and the mom told me when we were chatting, that each of the kids had thrown up at different points on the hike, lol.

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