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Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Land Coral" in Hell's Gate, Rotorua

One of the unusual things we saw at Hell’s Gate pertains to something called “land coral”. On the guided tour, we got the opportunity to venture out of the pathway with the guide to get a closeup of some interesting sights. If you are self-guided, please stay on the pathway for your own safety as the ground is rather unstable and the Hell’s Gate terrain is filled with craters, boiling mud and boiling ponds!

After the guide had given his safety instructions, he divided the tour into small groups of 3-4 persons each and we made our way in single file behind him. In spite of strict and clear instructions that we were to follow him directly from behind, to walk where he walked, nevertheless the guide saw someone taking a few steps off from his route and he had to ask if the guy understood English at all!

My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Hell's Gate, Pano58
(click for larger photo)
Terrain of craters, boiling mud and boiling ponds!
Hell’s Gate, Rotorua, May 2006

In above photo, the guide (in red) was pointing to a pond where steam was rising from. What we were looking at was the pond in below photo. Along the edge of the pond, was some kind of “deposit” called “land coral”. It seems that this “deposit” was the evidence of a certain form of bacteria that could thrive in such harsh conditions of boiling water and acidity. As the bacteria grew and multiplied, the “deposit” becomes larger. It is fascinating to learn that Nature provides an abundance of life even in such an environment. What would kill a human being was life-giving to a bacteria!

My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Hell's Gate, Pano59
(click for larger photo)
Boiling pond teeming with bacteria life
Hell’s Gate, Rotorua, May 2006

Below two photos show the close-ups of “land coral”.

My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Hell's Gate, Photo10748
My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Hell's Gate, Photo10744
(click for larger photo)
“Land coral”
Hell’s Gate, Rotorua, May 2006


Helen Leggatt said...

Great blog, love to read your updates. I live in New Zealand, having emigrated here from the UK almost 3 years ago, and a team of horses couldn't drag me, or my hubby, back!

Keep it coming!

Helen Leggatt
A Brit in the Boonies

"White Fang" the Wolf Puppy said...

Hi Helen, glad you enjoyed reading the updates. Will keep them coming. I ((resonate)) with your feelings about NZ. Enjoy this beautiful country!

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