Polynesian Spa at sunset

After long days of travel, with hours spent driving or walking around with a camera, a spa is the perfect treat. One of the best I’ve so far experienced in New Zealand is the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua. This was the second visit, this time at sunset. There are two natural springs that feed 28 hot mineral pools with geothermal waters. For the best experience the lake view private pools, shown above, are the way to go. You get this pool all to yourself for about 30 minutes. The water is 38.5 degrees C even in the evening. The perfect way to relax.

Redwoods Treewalk at night

One of the best things I’ve done in Rotorua is the Redwoods Nightlights treewalk. Due to it being a dusk I choose not to take my big camera and tripod. I couldn’t have used a tripod anyway as they want you to keep moving along. I do wish I had carried my camera with me as the experience was really photogenic. It’s a 40 minute walk floating around 10 to 20 metres above the forest floor. It spans across 28 suspensions brights and 27 platforms. You can see a couple of people stood on a platform to the right of this photograph. This photograph is a little blurred. Taken on my iPhone 12, I nearly didn’t publish it here. Certainly I need to do this experience again with my Sony camera.

Lake Rotoura sunset

Lake Rotorua – Te Rotorua nui ā Kahumatamomoe is a large lake just north of the town of Rotoura. I’ve been here half a dozen times but found photographing the lake itself quite a challenge. There’s great views of the lake from the Skyline Gondola that goes up Mount Ngongotaha. This visit I wanted to capture the sun setting over the lake. This wouldn’t be possible from the nearby mountain. In the end I drove the east side of the lake. Overlooking Ōwhatiura Bay this is the view of the lake from the end of Owhata Road. Just below the sun on the horizon is the centre of Rotorua.

Mount Maunganui

This was only my second visit to Tauranga and the first time overnight. Whilst I was extremely tired from previous days of travel. I was determined to walk to the top of Mount Maunganui and capture this photograph. Especially given it was a sunny summers day. The Mount is 232 metres above sea level and it took me around 40 minutes to walk to the top. This view south east of the peninsula is unique and spectacular. With the town of Mount Maunganui in the foreground. On the right is Pilot Bay beach and the Tauranga Harbour. On the left is the Mount Mauganui main beach and Marine Parade Reserve. The small island is Motuotau Island with the Bay of Plenty stretching out the horizon beyond.