Sulphur and Mud

November 22, 2011 No Comments by Tiramisue

One of the first things we heard when we told people we were heading down to Rotorua was, beware of the smell. Also known as Sulphur City, the place generally has the smell of rotten eggs. At least, that’s what we were told.

In truth, it really wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. Yeah you could smell it, but it was generally just lingering in the background and after a while you don’t notice it anymore.

Sulphur though, is one of the attractions of Rotorua. A hub of geothermal activity, the area has everything from geysers to hot springs, mud pools, sulphur pools, all sorts of baths and spas.

You can’t visit Rotorua and not try their world famous spas, and we managed to do two of them while we were there!

Polynesian Spa

This place was less than 5 minutes walk from our hostel and it has the most amazing view of Lake Rotorua! It was $21.50 per person for the adult spas, so not too pricey. And you could stay there all day if you liked.

We went there around six in the evening and spent two hours lazing in the sulphur spas watching the sun set behind us. And camwhoring. A lot.


I reckon we went there at that best time of the day


Happy smiley faces

Awesome way to spend an evening.

Hell’s Gate

Also known as Tikitere by the Maori people, Hell’s Gate got its name from this Irish dude came to Rotorua in the early 1900s. When he visited the park he decided this had to be the gateway to the hell his fellow theologians talk about, and so he named it as such.

An appropriate name indeed. Steaming craters, volcanic mud, I could easily believe this was the entrance to hell!

We started off with a tour of the thermal park. Apparently the area is heated by some magma from earth’s crust that came a bit too close to the surface.

The park itself was very cool, but it was just too bad our guide didn’t know very much else besides whatever he could read off the signs and guide sheets. It was a little disappointing really. If I pay $90 to come in here, I’m certainly expecting more than just a narration of the signboards!

My questions were met with evasive monosyllabic answers that I pretty much just gave up asking.

The sights and sounds and smells were good though!


In New Zealand, they don’t fine you if you litter.
They just make you go back and pick it up.

There were A LOT of pools, ranging from nice and warm ones you’d like to bathe in, to boiling hot ones you could cook food in, and even ones you could kill yourself in. In fact a Maori princess 600 years ago did exactly that and now she has a pool named after her!

We even saw how they harvested mud for the spas. It goes literally from thermal pool to shovel to pail to spa pool.

After the tour it was time for our mud spa!


Just before we got out, after we’d washed off the mud from our bodies

Who knew smearing mud all over your body could be so much fun?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *