Rotorua is famous for its geothermal steam and the rotten egg smell of Hydrogen Sulphide pervading everywhere. It’s a pleasant town nonetheless, with an important Maori Cultural Centre at Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. But while I was there the rain was torrential, so I drove on to Hell’s Gate. For the Geothermal experience, at least, Hell’s Gate is actually a lot better, and cheaper.
At the entrance there are the usual carved figures by way of warning and excitement-raising…
On top of the fee to see the attractions you can, as usual, pay extra and enjoy a full dip in the hot pools. These didn’t look desperately inviting (various flabby pale bodies wandering around rather vacantly) but happily for us cheapskates there’s a separate pool where your feet, at least, can get the spa experience. The water is almost too hot to leave your feet in for very long, and your tootsies come out all relaxed and pink.
Then it’s on to the geothermal areas, with all the usual steams, smells, gloops and bubbles.