We drove a few hours south to Rotorua, and stayed in a house on Lake Okareka that came with boats. We watched sheep shearing and sheepdog tricks at the Agrodome outside of town. After lunch, we relaxed at the thermal foot baths and walked around steaming fenced off lakes in Kairua City Park. We kayaked across Lake Rotoiti to hot pools, then into a glow worm cave after dark.
Evan petted the sheep lined up before the Agrodome farm show.
Evan hugged a sheep.
We saw 19 different breeds of sheep at the Agrodome farm show.

sheep shearing demo at the Agrodome

We found out that Evan is allergic to sheep or goats.

The sheepdogs ran over the backs of the sheep!

Kuiarau Park has nice flowers next to steaming lakes.
Kuirau Park has naturally warm foot pools.
We saw several pukekos near the lake.
Evan watching the steaming lake in Kuirua Park
New Zealand flax, ferns, and tea tree grow near the edge of the steaming lake.
Kimberly and Evan watch the steaming lake, with Rotorua streetlights in the background.
We kayaked across Lake Rotoito to Manupirua Hot Pools.
Manupirua Hot Pools has hot pools of different temperatures, and a slide into the lake.
The hot pools are built right up against the bush.
We hiked 10 minutes up behind the hot pools for a view of Lake Rotoiti.
Our kayak guide led us into a cave along Lake Rotoiti to find glowworms.
Glow worms covered the ceiling and reflected in the water.

Hell's Gate

Hell's Gate thermal area was named by George Bernard Shaw, but has been in use for over 800 years. We walked between steaming lakes and bubbling mud pools, then had a mud bath and soak in the hot sulphur pools. We paddled our house kayak and dinghy across Lake Okareka to a beach and mossy caves.
view of Lake Okareka from our rental house
starting on the walk through Hell's Gate
The ink pots are cracks in the ground filled with bubbling black liquid.

Monster eyeballs appeared then popped in the mud.

We walked through an area of native bush between the geothermal areas.
Kakahi Falls are the largest hot (40°C) waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sulfur crystals surrounded holes in the ground.
Steam from the hot lakes billowed across the path.
This mud volcano is over 3m tall, and is the largest in New Zealand.

The Steaming Cliffs pool sent up jets of boiling water.

We spread the silky mud on our skin in a private mud bath.
This pool is shaped like a map of Australia.
After the mud path, we relaxed in the hot sulphur pools.
view of the steaming landscape from the cafe
We paddled a kayak and dinghy from our house to a nearby beach with very bold ducks.
Lake Okareka from Boyes Beach
We rowed to some caves on the north side of the lake.
Evan paddled through the cave in his kayak, but the dinghy didn't fit.
caves on the noth side of Lake Okareka
Kimberly paddled across to the fern-covered side of the lake.
This cave ended in a tiny rock beach.