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Hot stuff, whether it's water, mud or air and whether it's boiling, steaming, spouting, bubbling or oozing from the ground, is what brings people to Rotorua. The extinct and active volcanic peaks that dominate the landscape all around Rotorua are responsible, although they have been assisted by humankind on occassion. The entire hot and humid landscape is capped off by beautiful crystal blue and turquoise lakes that fill the craters of some of the extinct volcanoes.

You can add your own efforts to the experience too: hot springs at some local beaches make it possible to dig your own hot spring in the sand either side of low tide, a special Kiwi experience. The thermal experience is not always in-your-face either: sneaky threads of steam issue from parks, pathways and streets and the occasional scent of sulphur wafts through the air. Lush gardens and natural bushland booms in the humid conditions around steam vents and hot springs. At Volcanic White Island cracked black lava smothers the ground.

There are silica terraces displaying a range of pastels, and minutes from the city centre, geysers of steaming water roar from the ground. Pools of bubbling mud gurgle and belch. In geothermal fields around Rotorua, steam rises from placid lakes and flowing streams. Towering volcanoes, now sleeping giants, are unmistakable reminders of the landscape’s turbulent past.