Wonderstuff's Wonderland (Bay of Plenty)
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Waiotapu Thermal Stream, 50km south of Rotorua (halfway to Taupo).
An increasingly popular spot where a hot stream converges with a cold one. Bring candles to light your way into the river.
Travel about 40km south of Rotorua and look out for the signpost marked "Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland" on the left. This is the first entrance, there is another about 500 meters further down the road. Take the second entrance. 500 metres down this tiny winding road you'll come a across a small bridge. You have arrived. You will need to make your way down the bank into the steamy stream. If its your first time and its dark you may have a bit of trouble... however its likely you won't be the only one there so just follow the voices...
Geothermal activity occurs where hot water rises to the earth’s surface. The bubbling water or steam we see are just the tip of a column or tongue of hot water that may extend for hundreds or thousands of metres below the ground. This is known as a geothermal system.
Wai-O-Tapu is associated with volcanic activity dating back about 160,000 years and is located right on the edge of the largest volcanic caldera (depression) within the active Taupo Volcanic Zone. With the largest area of surface thermal activity of any hydrothermal system in the Zone, the Thermal Wonderland is the most active part of the 18 square km reserve and has at its northern boundary the volcanic dome of Maungakakaramea (Rainbow Mountain).
It is an area associated with the immense pressures attributable to the Indian – Australian Plate rising and overlapping the Pacific Plate causing a fault line which enables heat from below the earth’s crust to radiate upwards towards the surface and form geothermal features. In basic terms beneath the ground at Wai-O-Tapu is a system of streams which are heated by magma left over from earlier eruptions. The water is so super heated that it absorbs the minerals out of the rocks through which it passes and conveys them to the surface as steam where they are ultimately absorbed into the ground.
To log this EarthCache, you must do the following and email us the results. You can go ahead and log your find, (ie. you don't need to wait for permission) but if we don’t think you have honestly completed the required tasks we will delete your log (after emailing you first of course):
1)Email me the first 3 words on the sign at GZ
2)Use a thermometer and take a water temperture reading, email me these readings
3)Take a photo of yourself with gps near the stream or bridge.( Sorry ADV! )
Please email me this info, please DO NOT post it with your log. Just post your photo.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum