How did Rotorua get so hot?


I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today. And a little adventurous at the same time.  So brace yourselves – today’s post is all about Rotorua and how it came to be so hot…even explosive!

Last time I wrote about Rotorua it was the beautiful love story of Hinemoa.  This time it’s not quite so lovely – although there is a reasonably happy ending.  This is the story of Ngatoroirangi and how his actions resulted in Rotorua becoming the geothermal place it is today.  Ngatoroirangi was a powerful Tohunga (spiritual leader) who journeyed to New Zealand from Hawaiki on the Te Arawa canoe.  One day he caught a glimpse of Mt Tongariro  and decided he must journey to its peak.  He and his servant made the journey, although by the end of the journey they were so cold they almost died.  tongariro national park

Ngatoroirangi is said to have prayed to his sisters in Hawaiki for warmth, and they sent the fire demons Te Pupu and Te Hoatato to his rescue.  Their journey across the Pacific was swift.  The fire demons lifted their heads at White Island, and seeing that they had further to go, plunged themselves back deep into the ocean.  They left New Zealand’s only active marine volcano in their wake.  Each time they lifted their heads, they left bubbling fire, causing the bubbling geysers and geothermal pools of Rotorua and surrounds to form.

crater lake

By the time they arrived at the peak of Mt Tongariro (plunging dramatically through the peak!), Ngatoroirangi’s servant had perished.  However the heat they brought was enough to warm and ulimately save Ngatoroirangi.  So yes, it’s a reasonably happy ending!

Now for the adventurous part. If you’re interested in checking out an active volcano, did you know you can take a tour of White Island?  Apparently there has been heightened volcanic activity there recently (perhaps the fire demons are restless?), however Tours are still running, just with extra precautions.

If you go, visit WorldMark Rotorua to relax after all that intrepid adveturing!

Jacqi has become part of the furniture at WorldMark South Pacific Club over the last nearly 10 years.  She has worked in various teams, including Customer Service, Systems and Owner Marketing & Solutions.  “Being involved with WorldMark has inspired me to take regular family holidays, and I look forward to sharing these experiences with you, including some of the tips I’ve learned along the way”

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One comment

  1. Pingback: huttrivervalley | Hawaiki the story…

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