We visited Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Government Gardens in Rotorua today. It was raining so please excuse the raindrops on my lens.


Not many plants here but I did find some beautiful lichens and mosses. Due to the volcanos and earthquake faults in the area, Rotorua has a lot of thermal activity including craters, boiling pools of mud and steaming fumaroles.

After the lady puts a soap solution in the volcano the geyser explodes:

A walk up the canyon:

The water in these craters can reach 176 degrees Fahrenheit and was used by the Māori as a geothermal energy source.

The pools of mud contain unrefined crude oil. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s the top layer of sludge was skimmed off and used in kerosene lamps.

As the water evaporates the chemicals in the water become more visible as different colors.

As a result of the harsh environment and rain, I found many different and beautiful lichens and mosses growing in the area.


The government building is of a great design but it is undergoing earthquake renovation now.

The annual and perennial beds near the government house are formal in shape and are reminiscent of an English garden:

Purple Stock

Pink stock (singles on the left are female and produce seeds. The male flowers are on the right are double.)

Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri)

Stock (Matthiola incana)

Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule)

Black Tulips and Dusty Miller

Next post: Redwood Treewalk

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