|Iceland Poppies, Government Garden in Rotorua|
|A pukeko bird in Government Gardens, Rotorua|
|Redwoods and tree ferns, Rotorua|
|Barry next to a tree fern--they grow really tall|
There is a forest of California Redwoods outside Rotorua, which we visited and hiked through. Not only the redwoods but also the tree ferns are here--and walking through them is spectacular. The redwoods were planted as part of an early experiment to find the timber that would best serve the timber industry in New Zealand. They didn't end up choosing to plant millions of redwoods--but instead they did develop this lovely forest tract.
|Waimangu Thermal Valley|
Next is a view taken in a volcanic valley outside Rotorua, called Waimangu. This is the world's youngest geothermal site, having been created in a volcanic eruption in 1886. We walked 4 km down the valley, stopping at various sites along the way. Barry wrote about this in his latest blog piece and included a pic of Inferno Crater, which was lovely aqua blue from dissolved silica in the heated water, refracting the light and giving this fabulous blue. It was reminiscent of the color of water that comes out of glacial melting, probably for the same reason--dissolved silicates.
|Female wallaby in the Waimangu Valley. About 3 feet tall.|