After a relaxed morning where we worked out, enjoyed our Kiwi granola and caught up on a little work (the reality that we are coming home is slowly starting to kick in) we set out in search of hot springs. Rotorua is a geothermal area — the largest in the world after Yellowstone, Russia and Iceland (or at least that’s what they claim). Since we happened to have been to both Iceland and Yellowstone in the last 18 months it wasn’t the bubbling mud pots or colorful steaming cauldrons that got everyone excited, but the hot springs that bubble out of the ground in various areas that are free and available to those that are willing to search. Our first stop was a tip from our checker at the grocery store the night before –Kerosene Creek (when you are buying food for teenage boys you have plenty of time to visit with the checker at checkout while the food piles up!).
Like Kerosene Creek our second stop had no signage or indication of where to go, but this Waterfall Spout didn’t even have a parking area. We went through a closed road block to get there which left it all to ourselves.
Our last hot spring stop for the day was Hammer Springs, an old time local pool that they had built up over the spring for easy soaking.
We followed all our “therapeutic” soaks with an amazing Argentine dinner. Oh so yummy!! After the high of the churros con chocolate and dulce de leche the kids were somber on the drive home as they realized it was our last night in New Zealand.