Culture · Field Trips · Geography · Science

Orakei Korako

A few days after our visit to The Bath House and the Redwoods, I took the Oh Waily kids off to pick up their Nana from Matamata (aka Hobbiton).  Then we took to the highway and headed towards Taupo.

Just before the great lake we took a left turn, and another, then headed up into the hidden valley that ends at Orakei Korako.  It was a pretty misty and grey morning, and for most of the journey it rained on our outing.  When we made it to the end of the valley the rain faded away, but left us with a dull and overcast day.  Still, it didn’t deter us from our walk.

First stop, the boat that takes you across the water.  What a fabulous way to start an adventure.  With a buzzer to gain retrieval when your walk is through.
Next up, the walk through the geothermal area.  Lots of interesting things to see and a surprise for the kids, what with all the steam wafting around us. It also made photography a bit of a hit and miss affair, as I’m still figuring it all out.

Steamy Arrival
As we walked over the first boardwalk we began to see all of the colours of the terrace. Unfortunately the overcast conditions didn’t manage to do justice to the colours and this was the best I could do to capture them.
It was great fun looking at all the algae as we walked along, but I think the kids were just as interested in the boardwalk as they were in the colours.

Colourful Walk
Here they are, admiring the Golden Fleece Terrace. Or, at least, posing for another one of my photographs.

The Silica Terrace
After this it became a taniwha hunt as there was a story to be told and a rock to be found. Instead we found the Elephant Rock, and naturally Miss Oh’s constant companion (Lumpy) had to be compared and contrasted to the rock in question. Quite the family likeness, I’d say.

Elephant Rock
After this we were able to admire the view back down on to one of the rather amazing terraces.

The Pools from Above
We stopped and admired Ruatapu cave and then headed on for the rest of the walk around the grounds.  And what visit to a geothermal park is complete without the obligatory boiling mud pools?  So we were able to see a few of those too.  One being particularly extensive.

Mud pool
After all the steamy walking, then the sun coming out, we headed back to the jetty to find the boat had just arrived and was picking up a number of other passengers.  This was rather surprising because up until the last small part of the walk we had seen and heard pretty much no one.  Yet here were at least half a dozen people!

To finish off our trip we had snacks and drinks in their little cafe before heading homewards.  It was a really long, but nice day.  A huge thanks to Nana Oh Waily for being my second pair of hands in a potentially iffy outing location – small children and steaming hot water, what could go wrong?

I’m looking forward to our next trip north when I think we may take on another geothermal wonderland, either Waimangu Valley or Wai-O-Tapu, and hopefully expand the little people’s knowledge of the earth and it’s sciences.  All while having fun, of course.

2 thoughts on “Orakei Korako

    1. That’s one of the reasons I chose Orakei Korako. But I think Waimangu is the one with a bus, so the out trek may be a bit long, but with a ride back to the start – maybe not so big a challenge?

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