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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua

One of the most photographed sections of Wai-O-Tapu is the Champagne Pool. It gets its name from the constant bubbling of its water. The water fizzles and reminds of champagne though its colour is a tinge of blue and green. Along the edge of the lake, is a brilliant shade of orchre.

My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Wai-O-Tapu, Pano13
(click for larger photo)
Champagne Pool
Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua, May 2006

Unfortunately, the day I was there, it was raining and the raindrops and runoffs into the the pool had made the water murky. Otherwise, on a sunny day, the colours in the photos would have turned out brilliant!

Champagne Pool is the largest spring in the area. It has a diameter of 65m and is 62m deep! It’s surface temperature is 74 degrees Celsius and steam constantly arises from the pool. The bubbles in the pool are due to carbon dioxide, just like champagne! Like all the natural features in Wai-O-Tapu, Champagne Pool was formed by geothermal activity. From the nearby rocks found at the embankment, it is believed that the pool was formed by a hydrothermal eruption 700 years ago.

My New Zealand Vacation, Rotorua, Wai-O-Tapu, Pano19
(click for larger photo)
Crossing the Primrose Terrace on the boardwalk
Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua, May 2006

Across the boardwalk, on the right side where the steam arises, the blue & orange shade of water indicates where the Champagne Pool is.

On the extreme right side is Artist’s Palette. When water overflows from the Champagne Pool, it brings with it minerals which are deposited on this side of the pool which results in a multitude of colours in the water. Hence, this side of the pool has been named Artist’s Palette.

On the left side of the boardwalk lies the Primrose Terrace which I will mention more in a subsequent posting.
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