Champagne Pool – Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, New Zealand.

Friday, June 24, 2011

On our drive to Rotorua, we had to stop to sleep for the night. Since the country is fairly strict on where you can camp, I drove around for a while trying to find a spot to park and eventually found a field with trees all around and a little driveway. Fairly secluded from the road I tried setting up my camera for star trails, but I was just too tired, and the mosquitoes didn’t help either. It was probably around 2 am when I finally got to sleep and then it was up early again for sunrise. For the 2nd straight day, sunrise didn’t amount to much, and once again we were on our way to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland near Rotorua. This was mainly a spot for us to explore for most of the day and just be tourists. I did want to get there for the daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser, which we barely made after much confusion and some running/driving around. Didn’t get any good photos of it though, the sky was overcast and the light was horrible. All the “touristy” photos will eventually be shared on Facebook for those interested.

After walking the trail and exploring many different geothermal wonders, we got to one of the main features of the park called the “Champagne Pool”. It is a terrestrial hot spring with its crater around 65m in diameter and a maximum depth of around 62m. The deep geothermal water below Champagne Pool is around 260°C, but water temperature within the pool is maintained at 73 °C  to 75 °C  by losing heat to the atmosphere. (Information taken from Wikipedia).

I realize this is a very similar shot to what many people have, but I wanted a photo like this for myself of this very popular area. I also felt that the other photos from this place were either lacking in composition, lacking in color, or both. We were lucky enough that most of the clouds had lifted as the day went on and there were still a few puffy clouds for my photo. Who says you can’t shoot in the middle of the day. This photo and the one from the blog post before this one were both shot during the middle of the day.  As long as you know how to expose a scene you should be fine. For this shot, I once again made three exposures and used exposure fusion in Photomatix. A little dodging and burning to bring out the textures of the rock and that was it for this photo. I believe I was also using a polorizing filter when this shot was taken.


“Lake Taupo”, Waikato Region, New Zealand.

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  1. […] exploring Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, we headed to Lake Taupo to shoot it at sunset. “With a surface area of 616 square kilometres […]

  2. anna says:

    Reading your blog, there are so many days where we were “lucky” to have seen things that people told us we couldn’t or wouldn’t see due to the weather or some other circumstance. So glad we went there! It would have been nice to get a breeze once in a while on this walk around the geothermal wonderland, but living in Edmonton heat is something we cannot complain about…

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