Day 1: Rotorua, New Zealand – December 2015.

Oh, New Zealand – what a wonder you are! I was fortunate to take a family holiday over Christmas in New Zealand, and am very keen to return, next time for a designated photography trip.

This is the first posting of what will ultimately be a series of approximately ten posts, roughly one for each day of our holiday.

Day 1 – Rotorua area (North Island).
We visited the stunning and amazing Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) Thermal Area, and can wholeheartedly recommend including this on your itinerary. I have included images from the three primary attractions: the Geothermal Area, Lady Knox Geyser, and the Mud Pool.

I strongly encourage you to visit the Geothermal Area as soon as the doors to the Thermal Wonderland open in the morning because the temperature differential really allows for viewing more steam/venting. After you have enjoyed the wonder of the place, perhaps go explore elsewhere for a few hours, but ensure you return late afternoon – specifically to view the stunning colours of The Champagne Pool which show themselves as the sun gets lower in the west. I have included some afternoon images showing these almost unbelievable colours, which are a result of the mineral composition of the spring water, some of which are: gold, silver, mercury, sulphur, arsenic, thallium, silica, and antimony.

Before we get to the images of Wai-O-Tapu, here is a scene that captured my attention on our drive along the Thermal Explorer Highway…

Fence and grassy hill 2AM-000332

Fence and Hill 2AM-000332. ©Andrew McInnes


Into Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland we go…

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000102

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000102. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000107

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000107. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000325

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000325. ©Andrew McInnes

Devils Bath - Waiotapu 2AM-000106

Devil’s Bath 2AM-000106. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000196

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000196. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000117

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000117. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000175

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000175. ©Andrew McInnes

Waiotapu - Rotorua 2AM-000194

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area 2AM-000194. ©Andrew McInnes


On to my favourite feature – The Champagne Pool. I was fascinated and enthralled by it 🙂

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM 0301-0307 Panorama

The Champagne Pool 2AM 0301-0307 panorama. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000124

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000124. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000131

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000131. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000185

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000185. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000281

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000281. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004249

The Champagne Pool 2AM-004249. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000122

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000122. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000164

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000164. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000123

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000123. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000141

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000141. ©Andrew McInnes

The Champagne Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-000138

The Champagne Pool 2AM-000138. ©Andrew McInnes


Next to The Champagne Pool is an area/feature named The Primrose Terrace, including warning signage.

The Primrose Terrace - Waiotapu 2AM-000297

The Primrose terrace 2AM-000297. ©Andrew McInnes

A boardwalk crosses the draining end of The Champagne Pool, and the evaporating water is rich in silica, depositing as silicious sinter – creating The Primrose Terrace feature.

The Primrose Terrace - Waiotapu 2AM-000166

The Primrose Terrace 2AM-000166. ©Andrew McInnes

A popular feature/attraction is Lady Knox Geyser, but I must admit I was somewhat underwhelmed, primarily because anthropogenic inputs are added to ensure the 10:15 am daily event. Nevertheless, worth a look.

Lady Knox Geyser - Waiotapu 2AM-000221

Lady Knox Geyser 2AM-000221. ©Andrew McInnes

Lady Knox Geyser - Waiotapu 2AM-000226

Lady Knox Geyser 2AM-000226. ©Andrew McInnes


On now to the Mud Pool. This is a small section of the feature shown here.

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004227

Mud Pool 2AM-004227. ©Andrew McInnes

Sometimes you see an “explosion”

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004120

Mud Pool 2AM-004120. ©Andrew McInnes

At other times a slow building of pressure…

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004163

Mud Pool 2AM-004163. ©Andrew McInnes

Which begets the following “burp”

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004164

Mud Pool 2AM-004164. ©Andrew McInnes

so many shapes…

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004184

Mud Pool 2AM-004184. ©Andrew McInnes

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004190

Mud Pool 2AM-004190. ©Andrew McInnes

Mud Pool - Waiotapu 2AM-004211

Mud Pool 2AM-004211. ©Andrew McInnes


I hope you enjoyed, and are intrigued by the scenes in this posting.

Cheers 🙂

Posting #12 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

The 12th and final posting of my trip up to Kununurra and back!
This is a small collection of images from a brief detour to visit the wonderful Tunnel Creek National Park.

The view as you near Tunnel Creek along Leopold Downs Road. This is part of the Napier Range: Devonian reef from 350 – 375 million years ago.

Devonian Reef 2AM-003686. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Devonian Reef 2AM-003682. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Underneath the bluff in the following picture is ‘Tunnel Creek’ – a 750 meter erosion tunnel through the Napier Range, eroded by a creek. The tunnel is purported to be the oldest cave system in Western Australia!


Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003691. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

This is a day-use park only; this is my trusty 1984 Toyota Hilux in the parking area – only a very short hike to the cave entrance.

Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003689. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Along the trail to the cave entrance…

Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003700. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Inside Tunnel Creek, looking back toward the entrance…

Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003765. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Looking deeper into Tunnel Creek – follow it to the right 😉

Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003772. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.

Tunnel Creek National Park 2AM-003774. ©2014 Andrew McInnes.


That’s it for now. Until next time, thanks for visiting.





Posting #8 of my road trip from Fremantle to Kununurra, Western Australia.

Mirima/Hidden Valley National Park – Kununurra, Western Australia.
Bungle Bungles in miniature – located just minutes from Kununurra, Mirima/Hidden Valley is a small park with sandstone ranges, cliffs and valleys, similar in appearance (and formed by similar processes) to parts of the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park). The 350 million year old sandstone features within the park are subject to some striking colour changes due to sunlight variances.

Here is the ‘mini Bungle Bungles’ (a portion of Mirima/Hidden Valley), viewed from a helicopter, including the town of Kununurra, Lily Creek, Indian Sandalwood plantations, and a portion of the surrounding ranges.


Kununurra and Mini Bungle Bungles 2AM-003518 © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003519 © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden-Valley-National-Park-2AM-003533. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Okay, back on terra firma – time for a wander through Hidden Valley…


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003277. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003262. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003180. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003224. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003281. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003284. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003200. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003206. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003249. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003259. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.


Hidden Valley National Park 2AM-003273. © 2014 Andrew McInnes.