When a lot of people think of New Zealand they think of Lord of the Rings, which showcases one magical scene after another. Road tripping around the country in real life gives off that same feeling.
While driving the North Island, an off the beaten path spot instantly became the “magical” place in New Zealand for me. That place is the Kerosene Creek hot springs.
The Kerosene Creek hot spring is a place that makes me dream. It’s a place that makes you put all your worries aside. It’s a place that makes the body feel relaxed sitting in a hot thermal pool alongside a waterfall. It’s a place I got to experience with my best friend.
To get to Kerosene Creek drive along State Highway 5 in-between Rotorua (30 kilometers from) and Taupo (55 kilometers from) and turn onto Old Waiotapu Road. Go about two kilometers, on gravel not in the best condition, and park alongside the road. There will be minimal signage. Once on foot it will be a ten minute or less walk along some lush native bush.
There is the elATLboy! 🙂
You feel like you are in a fairy tale, a million miles from nowhere.
The great thing about Kerosene Creek is that it is free! Because you are in the middle of nature you won’t find a restroom or a place to change. When you are ready to hop in it’s very easy to sit in the pool as it is shallow all around. The water temperature was perfect for us, though I hear it can vary depending on how much rain it gets. Also, the creek does have a bit of a smell, hence the Kerosene name. 🙂
It was a great place to soak in (literally) with my best friend. I hope to get back to the “magical” place for me in New Zealand again soon. It is definitely classified as a #NZMustDo!
What is the “magical” place for you in New Zealand? What other hot springs would you recommend around Rotorua?
New Zealand is home to countless scenic waterfalls, one such being Owharoa Falls on the North Island.
Owharoa Falls sits on the Taieri Stream and within the Karangahake Gorge right off State Highway 2 about half-way between Paeroa and Waihi.
It’s actually made up of three waterfalls with the most accessible being only a five minute walk away from the main parking area. You can also see the falls as part of a walk/hike along the seven kilometer Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.
Owharoa Falls is a staircase waterfall with a trapezoidal shape and stands is six meters tall.
It was a 90-120 minute drive from Auckland, making it a great day trip option. A fun experience standing alongside Owharoa Falls, with swimming next to being another plausible option.
What waterfalls would you recommend checking out in New Zealand?
On the Canadian side of the Niagara River you’ll find tourists and their cameras up-and-down Niagara Falls Parkway capturing Horseshoe Falls, the biggest of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls.
If you want to get really up close and personal though, checkout The Journey Behind the Falls. The video captured alongside the Horseshoe Falls on the lower observation deck during my most recent visit says it all. 🙂
Head inside the Table Rock Welcome Centre along the parkway to get started. You’ll go down 45 metres in an elevator to the tunnels leading to the upper and lower observation decks and the other two viewing points. The two observation decks sit alongside the 790 meter long Horseshoe Falls. You can watch as 2,271,247 liters of water per second fall right in front of you.
Besides the observation decks, you have the chance to go behind the Falls. The tunnel that goes behind goes about a third of the way into the Horseshoe Falls.
Checkout the posters along the tunnel walls to see historical pictures and get background information on the area, falls, tunnels and observation decks.
About half way down this tunnel and at the end you’ll come to the other two observation points where you’ll get to walk within 10 feet of the Falls. Checkout that water coming down.
One thing I like about Journey Behind the Falls versus the boat tours is that the tour is unguided. You can stay there as long as you want soaking in the atmosphere literally. 🙂 While on the decks you can watch the Hornblower Voyage To The Falls (Canadian side boat tour) and Made of the Mist (USA side boat tour) take turns going in-and-out of the Falls.
Some additional information:
- The summer time cost of a ticket at the gate is $15.95 and $10.95 for adults and children respectively.
- You can purchase in advance as part of the Adventure Pass Classic package.
- Tickets for just this tour can be purchased in advance online at viator.com. Rates will vary based on the exchange rate.
- The tour comes with a rain poncho which can be kept as a souvenir.
When looking to photograph large scenes like city skylines I’m always on the lookout for something to capture and view in the foreground to give it a more unique look. While walking along Niagara Parkway in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side recently, I was capturing the different Falls by themselves straight on.
Being the beginning of Spring, flowers were popping up and being planted everywhere along the riverfront drag. I found my foreground object(s)! The scores of yellow daffodils made looking at and capturing the American and Bridal Veil Falls that much more scenic. It looks like the flowers are guarding the Falls.
Do you look for foreground objects when capturing a large scene? If so, what kinds of objects do you like best?
Posted in Canada, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Photography, travel
Tagged American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Canada, Niagara Falls, Niagara Parks, Ontario, photography, waterfall