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Visions of Hell in Wai-O-Tapu

semi-overcast 27 °C

Picture an Old Testament image of hell where the landscape is dotted with giant cauldrons of boiling mud awaiting the souls of the unrepentant …
Where a single mortal sin will condemn unbelievers to eternity in a lake of sulphuric acid …
Where a sinner faces eternal perdition floating in a pool of scalding water laced with arsenic…
And where simple blasphemers can be cleansed of their transgressions in a lake of boiling water bubbling with noxious gasses…
But this is New Zealand - Aotearoa to the Maoris – and there are no sinners here. The Kiwis are fine upstanding God-fearing people who are very good at sailing, cricket and rugby (amongst other things), and they have no use for the instruments of the Lord’s wrath. Fortunately, Rotorua in the centre of North Island is not hell, but it has been a tourism hotspot (no pun intended) since the Duke of Edinburgh visited in 1870. (Not Phil the current D of E – even he’s not that old). The colours of the numerous pools are simply mesmerising…
This surreal place is the active geothermal caldera of a giant volcano that violently erupted some 26,000 years ago. It was the most violent eruption on earth in the past 70,000 years

While the main volcano may have blown itself to smithereens it has left a crater where the earth’s crust is only a few kilometres thick. Intense heat from the earth’s core boils the water in the underground aquifers and, with a little persuasion from a park guard, the Lady Constance Knox geyser blows off steam at precisely 10.15 am every day…
Tourists flock from all over the world to see the phenomena as superheated water is shot sixty feet or more into the air.
The Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland offers a truly unnatural natural palette – it is a paintbox for surrealist artists. Even the silver fern – New Zealand’s iconic plant – grows here…

Posted by Hawkson 01:05 Archived in New Zealand

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Wow. This area is something else.

by keith

Unbelievable! Worth the price of the airline ticket alone. New Zealand is most definitely on my list - thanks so much for sharing such vivid photos and descriptions.

by Ginny Miller

Such a concentration of somewhat deadly wonders. One might be tempted to leave a few sins behind if one had them. So fascinating.

by Sue Fitzwilson

A fitting Sunday Sermon is this.

by Janet

Love the boiling mud shot. Nicely done.

by Tom

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