International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 51 - Page 66

Today, Waimangu Volcanic Valley is an exciting destination for people of all ages and levels of fitness and place to really experience the work of Mother Nature, so large that you will feel you are the only people exploring the area. This is a real opportunity to experience the planet in the raw. You only see beauty created by nature alone, the sounds, the sights, all natural and something that the team at Waimangu work continually to protect, they see this as protecting the land for future generations and it is how we should all view this planet, something to protect, not exploit. As you enter the gates, you are immediately greeted by birdsong and the hushed serenity of the New Zealand bush and then, as you move deeper, this changes. As you venture deeper you discover Ruamoko, the maori God of Volcanoes which stands silent, still, as it watches over you as you walk through his domain. This is a truly spiritual feeling, imagine all those who have walked before you, deep in nature and under the watchful eye of such power. Discover the power and wonder of the Valley’s geothermal activity, manifested by features such as devilish Inferno Crater, steaming Frying Pan Lake and mysterious Echo Crater. You’ll revel in the diverse walks and hikes around the craters, as you pass hot streams, living silica terraces, pools of bubbling mud, rare and unusual plants and hissing fumaroles. Panoramic views will enthral photographers, and families are happy to find that the size of the valley gives children plenty of room to run off some energy! There are walks for everyone so you can be as gentle, or as energetic, as you wish, and do take a look at the boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana. This beautiful lake has its own separate geothermal system, with the amazing thermal activity that can only be seen by boat cruise. One of New Zealand’s most beautiful, unspoilt, natural wilderness areas, the lake and surrounding land are protected from development. Patiti Island, in the middle of the Lake, is currently being restored to a predator free state by Waimangu Volcanic Valley Ltd. Patiti will become a sanctuary for endangered New Zealand native birds On your return you can look through the well stocked gift shop, most of which is from New Zealand, or take some time out with food and drinks on the cafe terrace whilst listening to the sounds of the native birds. If you have the opportunity to visit then do, it is an opportunity to reconnect with nature, to see for yourself the power behind nature and hopefully it will inspire you to spread the work of these guys and go on to help protect more areas on this wonderful planet, protecting it for future generations who need to see areas like this to experience, and absorb, the connection between us and nature, to understand, that we are all one. Waimangu Volcanic Valley Ltd Phone 64 7 366 6137 Sustainable Business Awards 1999 Rotorua Tourism Business of the Year 1999 Rotorua Supreme Business of the Year 2001 New Zealand Eco Tourism Award 2001 and 2002 New Zealand Service to the Environment Award 2003 and 2004 New Zealand Innovation in Eco Tourism Award 2003 Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business Award - mid sized business 2004 Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business Award - mid sized business 2004 Bay of Plenty SUPREME Sustainable Business Award