Ever since I saw my father's grainy 16mm movie film of the boiling pools at Rotorua, I have longed to visit the place and see it for myself. We drove down from Auckland and took the scenic route, which meant that we approached the place from the south-west. We turned a corner and came into a cluster of wooden houses and then the smell of rotten eggs wafted in the window and with a choking gasp of awe we knew that we had arrived.
Wow! What a place! Columns of steam drifting up between the houses, red and cream traditional buildings next to modern glass and steel office blocks, sulphur gas so strong that unpainted wood looked charred and black, naturally heated spas and to have a geyser in your backyard means free heating for life.
In the first film we wander round a park where pools of boiling mud were crossed by quaint rustic bridges and brilliant flowers smelled of rotten eggs.
In the second we tell the famous love story of Hinemoa and Tutanaki.
In the third we visit the unhappy thermal park of Te Puia and we finish our visit by watching how they make the Maori native costume.