Te Puia is a cultural and geothermal complex which is located to the South of Rotorua town centre. The complex is built around Pohutu, one of the largest geysers in New Zealand. A whole series of functioning and dormant geysers surrounds Pohutu. The rather fantastic smoke from geothermal sources:
The so-called Cooking Pool, Ngararatuatara:
Our guide brought two bags of eggs and cooked them right in the pool. A geothermal breakfast:
The water comes out of the ground with an amazing force and reaches many metres high. Looks mightier than the Geysir itself in Iceland, but the Geysir is more intense in one direction.
The main geyser from the other side
A close look at the volcanic ground
The Te Puia complex additionally features the Institute of Maori Arts and Crafts. In particular there is a carving school and a weaving school. The visitors can observe the pupils of each school at work. The carvers:
One of the weavers’ products. The New Zealand flax is surprisingly strong. We got a demonstration of how the flax could be extracted from a plant trunk.
In Te Puia we happened to see another visitor welcoming ceremony, very much like the one we saw in Tamaki village. Even some actors seemed to be the same:
A large building on the previous photo is a Maori community house. The same house from the inside. Looks much like a temple.
This little house on legs is a unique artwork called pataka. It is a storage facility for food and valuables. This particular pataka was created for an international exhibition in Christchurch in 1906.
Further South on the road out of Rotorua and Te Puia you drive across the volcanic park of Wai-O-Tapu. We stopped there for a quarter of an hour to watch the boiling mud:
Little mud fountains jump up every minute:
The next stage of my trip after Rotorua and Te Puia was the town of Taupo, where I did my first skydive. From Taupo I also undertook the Tongariro Alpine crossing. From Taupo I headed to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.