Good bye Ocean, Hello Rotorua

We’ve moved on to the second leg of our trip to a town called Rotorua.

It was sad leaving the ocean and our beautiful view, but there is more to see as we adventure on.

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Part of a jelly washed ashore.

We headed out of town after we packed up and cleaned up.

We stopped at an outcrop next to Lake Rotoiti and collected some samples there.

A praying mantis visited us at the Lake Rotoiti outcrop.
A praying mantis visited us at the Lake Rotoiti outcrop.

In this area there was a marae, which is a special building to the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand. I am hoping to learn more about them while we are in Rotorua. As were were driving down the road we could distinctly smell sulfur. Which was a clue we were getting close to Rotorua. There is significantly more geothermal activity here.

The New Zealand Christmas tree - Pohutakawa
The New Zealand Christmas tree – Pohutakawa
Geothermal power plant in New Zealand
Geothermal power plant in New Zealand

We did some sampling at a quarry in Rotorua after lunch and got a huge pumice, hopefully I can bring it back to show everyone! The pumice they were collecting was from the Rotorua eruption that occured 15,000 years ago.

Sampling pumice in a quarry.
Sampling pumice in a quarry.
Giant pumice
Giant pumice

After we were done sampling we headed to check in to the Holiday park we are staying in. They are like campgrounds, but have a wide variety of accommodations. Big cabins, small cabins, campervans, open sites where you put up your own tent. Before I left I was a bit nervous about where we would be staying and what it would be like, but so far both cabins have been super nice. I grew up camping, but have become a tad bit more “high maintenance” as I age gracefully! 🙂

Swanky cabin in Rotorua
Swanky cabin in Rotorua

We did some more sampling in the countryside which was beautiful. There were a couple of outcrops that took some time trying to figure out which layers were from which eruption. These geologists use maps and other scientific papers that have been written and published by other scientists to determine the location and other things about the eruption deposits, it is quite amazing to witness.

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We ate lunch on the shores of lake Taupo. It is the largest lake in New Zealand. It is a caldera lake, which means when there was a large eruption and over time the area filled in with water. Everywhere I look around here I see hills, and mountains, which were formed from volcanic activity. It is crazy to think of how it must have been thousands of years ago when all of this volcanic activity was going on here.

Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo

The group I am with really wants to connect with our students in DB, so I sent an email to the teachers hoping they could get the students to ask some questions and we will respond with some video answers.

There are fields upon fields of sheep and cows here too.

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Well, I am off to take a walk into Rotorua to check it out. I stayed behind while the geologists went sampling this morning. I wanted to get caught up on the blog and answer some emails. Sending love to all back home.


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