Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Water colors at Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley

with 39 comments

On our 2015 New Zealand trip we’d visited two geothermal attractions in the Rotorua area but had run out of time for more. On March 5th of this year we spent a few hours at a third one, the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley. How about the vivid color of the water at Inferno Crater Lake? And look at the very different color of another lake there:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 7, 2017 at 5:01 AM

39 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Awesome. Really beautiful!

    José Manuel

    May 7, 2017 at 5:05 AM

    • You can add this to your list of places to visit, along with other attractions in the Rotorua area.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 7:59 AM

  2. wow, these are stunning photos, steve –


    May 7, 2017 at 5:32 AM

  3. I have a picture of my nz trip that is almost the same as your first. I loved that lake. It was so unbelievably amazing.


    May 7, 2017 at 5:38 AM

    • It’s good to hear from someone who’s been there. I took the first picture from the wooden viewing platform. The vegetation between the platform and the lake had grown too tall to get a clear shot of the lake, so I had no choice but to make the bushes part of the image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 9:47 AM

  4. So beautiful. The color of the first pool is amazing.


    May 7, 2017 at 7:10 AM

    • The blue is so appealing I think people would be tempted to jump in, but you can see steam rising above the surface of the hot water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 9:49 AM

  5. Intersting contrast in water colours.

    Lignum Draco

    May 7, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    • I like the first more, for obvious reasons, and originally planned to show it alone. As an afterthought I felt I should include the second one for the contrast you mentioned.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 9:53 AM

  6. I simply love your New Zealand series.
    Have a wonderful Sunday,


    May 7, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    • I hope these NZ pictures will inspire you to go there. The country is covered with trails (which they refer to as tracks), so you’d never exhaust the possibilities for walking and biking.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      • Well, there are so many places still on my bucket list. And now you added one more! 😉


        May 7, 2017 at 10:18 AM

        • Perhaps Air New Zealand’s non-stop flight from Houston to Auckland will move that country up to a high place on your list.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 7, 2017 at 10:33 AM

          • Thanks for the info.


            May 7, 2017 at 12:08 PM

            • You’re welcome. There are even hotels near Houston’s international airport, with shuttles to and from it, that will let you park for as little as $4 a day.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 7, 2017 at 3:15 PM

              • I know. We’ve been flying out of Houston for international travel quite a few times, although we normally fly out of San Antonio then.


                May 7, 2017 at 3:36 PM

                • When I searched for flights I expected to fly out of Austin and make a connection somewhere like Dallas or Los Angeles. All the connecting flights that turned up had either a long layover or one so short I didn’t dare risk it. In the end I decided it was better to drive the two-and-a-half hours to Houston and then get the advantage of a non-stop flight to Auckland.

                  By the way, it’s good to see you’ve regained your ability to leave comments on other people’s blogs.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 7, 2017 at 3:42 PM

                • I still have to figure out which browser to use with which blog.


                  May 9, 2017 at 12:20 AM

                • That comes as a surprise: I didn’t expect blogs to be browser-specific. I’m happy you found a solution.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 9, 2017 at 5:49 AM

                • Hi Steve,
                  it’s browser-specific insofar as my Firefox is a special German version, from my German email provider GMX, and also has add-ons and extensions that might interfere with my commenting. Google Chrome may have add-ons, too. But my MS IE doesn’t have any add-ons, so it sometimes works better for comments than Firefox or Chrome. But sometimes nothing at all works, not even my smartphone.
                  Have a good one,


                  May 10, 2017 at 12:25 PM

  7. These are some interesting lakes. I love the vivid sky blue water. The only other place I have seen that is up in the Canadian Rockies.

    Congratulations on 6 years of posting! I enjoy them. 🙂

    Lavinia Ross

    May 8, 2017 at 12:01 AM

    • You’ve provided one more reason to head for the Canadian Rockies, which I’ve been eager to go visit for a long time.

      The six-year mark is coming soon, less than a month from now. Thanks for your congratulations, and I’m glad to hear you’re still enjoying these posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2017 at 7:07 AM

      • I should add that you’ve provided an impetus to visit Oregon, too. The only time I was there was in 1978, when I drove down US 101. It’s high time to go back.

        Steve Schwartzman

        May 8, 2017 at 7:19 AM

  8. The first lake is beautiful, and the second is intriguing. I’ve been trying to think of what the color reminds me of, and I’m at a loss. It’s a color I recognize, but it might only be from the 64-color box of Crayolas. What’s so strange is the way the vegetation around the lake seems tinged with the same color. Maybe the plants are dissolving into the water.


    May 8, 2017 at 10:24 PM

    • Not till you mentioned it now did I pick up on the tinge of brown in the vegetation around the second lake. While the prominent ferns at the left of the second photograph were still fresh, it’s common for the underparts of ferns, including dying fronds, to turn tan and brown. I may show that in a future post. Unfortunately I don’t know what accounts for the brown color of the water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2017 at 10:32 PM

  9. Rotorua is one of my fav places in NZ. Knowing you, you have checked out the pink and white terraces haven’t you? Such a shame ..


    May 11, 2017 at 2:16 AM

    • I’ve heard of those terraces, including the claim that they’ve recently been rediscovered. The article at


      adds a skeptical note: “The claims of rediscovery have been challenged by skeptic Bill Keir, who calculated that the ‘rediscovered’ structures are not where the terraces had been before the eruption. Specifically, the recently discovered structures are 50–60 metres (160–200 ft) under the lake surface, but the historic terraces are expected to be as little as 10 metres (33 ft) under, and icould not be more than 40 metres below the surface’. Keir speculates the structures discovered by the GNS team are prehistoric terraces, never before seen by humans; or perhaps step-shaped objects created by the eruption.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 11, 2017 at 5:07 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: