Orakei Korako

These are photos of Orakei Korako, the Hidden Valley. (Hubby can't say it without lowering his voice, saying it slowly and adding drums, ala 2001 oddessy.) 

"From earliest times, the Waikato Valley near Orakei Korako was occupied by Maori of the Ngati Tahu sub-tribe Tuwharetoa.
By the early 1800’s, the Maori population had congregated at Orakei Korako, attracted by the hot springs. 
“O” is the place of “rakei” adornment. “Korako” meaning white, describing the glittering (sinter) flat.
A diary entry for the 11 March 1850 recorded that the Maoris lived in this spot “to spare their woman the trouble of procuring wood for fuel. They seldom light a fire; everything is cooked in the springs.”  from:


The orangey yellow color is not iron or sulfur. It's algae, according to a tour guide from just down the road a piece.

I'm amazed that so much greenery thrives so closely to the boiling water.

Click here for another link for information.


Paradise Valley Springs

Part of of holiday was the exciting chance to pet a real, live lion cub at Paradise Valley Spring just outside of Rotorua.

There are wild deer that roam the countryside and this one was among the lucky ones that get fed by tourists.

This little wallaby seemed very content to take food pellets from our hands.

Some noisy ducks that begged for attention. And food.

There were hungry faces all along the pathway through the park.

I think this little guy was a bit shy.

It is very interesting that American Rainbow trout were introduced into the Rotorua area about 1913. In some places (like the place in the Waimangu Valley I mentioned in my other blog) the fish are of totally pure stock because there is no water flowing in or out. They like the warm waters near the thermal areas and are readily fed from passersby.


Whakatane and Moko

While we were on the 'other' side of the North Island, we visited a friend in Whakatane. [Pronounced fa-ka-tawn-nee] It's a lovely seaside place with much Maori culture.

Our friend informed us that Moko, a wild-but-friendly dolphin, had been sighted closeby, so we went out to search for him. He has his own sites, you know...http://www.whakatane.com/moko-the-dolphin.html

And we found him in the bay, playing with some local kids! They were not in an accessible place, so we were content to take photos from afar.

In the harbor stands a statue of Wairaka, a Maori heroine whose story you can read here.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecilyand Pam



We went to Rotorua last week. I am still sorting photos, but I want to share these panoramas with you. You can click the photos for a larger view.

This is one of the many beaches on Lake Rotorua.

The next 2 are from the restaurant at the top of the mountain at the Rotorua Luge site. Hubby and I took photos while the kids went on the Luge.

I find the rock along the roadsides fascinating.It sure not Kansas, anymore.


Moon over Stratford

This is a view of the moon that I caught from the back yard garden. I was pleased that the photos came out so well.


A bee in my garden

This little guy seemed to be too drunk on pollen to move.