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Oct 24 2014

The Story Behind the Geyser

This Foto Friday is a blast from the past for me because I took this photo while I was in New Zealand on my trip around the world.  This was the halfway point: I was about halfway through my travels and halfway around the world Pohutu Geyser, Te PuiaI have seen some pretty amazing things during my travels and this is one of them.  Nature is incredible.  I was in Rotoura on the North Island when I saw this.  It’s fascinating to watch the geysers, like Pohutu in Te Puia, in action.

Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, where Te Puia is located, is in the Taupō Volcanic Zone.  Science is all well and good, but I love a good story.  So, I prefer the maori explanation for the thermal activity in this area.   As the story goes, there was a priest and navigator called Ngātoroirangi from a mythical place called Hawaiki.  He was headed for New Zealand, but ended up being kidnapped.  After a difficult time on the boat, he finally landed in New Zealand.  After a few more adventures, he got caught in a blizzard while climbing a mountain, and started to freeze.  He was close to death when he called out to his sisters for help.  They sent sacred fire they had brought with them from Hawaiki underground in the form of two spirits, Te Pupu and Te Haeata.  It is when the spirits came up to ground level that the geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes were created.  The fire saved Ngātoroirangi from freezing to death, so he was able to continue his adventure in New Zealand.


If you’re in Rotorua, you are surely going to want to visit Te Puia, so this is where it’s located:

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Have your say

Do you also prefer the stories rather than the science behind things like the geothermal activity?  Have you seen geysers in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world?


    • John D on 26/10/2014 at 16:49

    I love the story. Shame I did not see that when I was in New Zealand.

    I saw the Geysers in Iceland and wondered if old Ngātoroirangi’s sisters had been to Iceland also.

  1. It was an amazing sight and, I agree, the story is fab. I still have to go to Iceland!


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