Posts Tagged With: New Zealand

H-Bomb’s Friday photo, week 22: an erupting geyser in New Zealand

Happy Friday! We’re getting further into the spring season here in the northern hemisphere. But this week’s featured image comes from a place where it’s now autumn: New Zealand. In the city of Rotorua on that country’s North Island, I saw erupting geysers.

Thar she blows!

New Zealand, which sits astride the Ring of Fire, is a geological hotspot; for example, no fewer than 48 active volcanoes can be found within 20 kilometres of Auckland’s city centre. Geysers tend to predominate in areas of significant volcanic activity, and Rotorua (situated within a region called the Taupo Volcanic Zone) is no exception. Within Rotorua, the particular location of the geyser seen here is a field called “Te Whakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao,” meaning “The gathering place for the war parties of Wahiao.” Here’s the sign to prove it:

Damn long place name

In the days before email, filling out envelopes addressed to that particular “gathering place” would not have been fun. Anyway, Te Whakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao contains at least 65 different geyser vents, although some shoot up their water vapour more frequently than others. It’s one of three places in the world where I’ve witnessed geysers in action; the others are Iceland, and the northern California town of Calistoga. I’ve not yet visited what is probably the most famous geyser on the planet: Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park in the American state of Wyoming. I hope to make it there at some point.

The photos in this post were taken during my visit to New Zealand in January 2010.

Have you ever seen a geyser in person?

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, Oceania and South Pacific, travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 6: Man over New Zealand

Hello again as we get ready to kick off the weekend. Today’s featured photo is of a man doing the “Sky Jump” from atop the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Sky Jump works as follows: first, you’re suspended for about 10 seconds outside the Sky Tower’s observation deck, so that people inside, such as myself, can photograph you. Then you’re lowered to the ground, 184 metres below, in what has been described as a controlled free fall. (Your descent is regulated via the cables to which you’re harnessed; this makes it different from a bungee jump.) Needless to say, I wanted no part of the Sky Jump. It was scary enough just to watch other people doing it. 🙂

Measuring 328 metres to the top of its mast, the Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere (although the Sydney Tower in Sydney, Australia has a higher observation deck).

This photo was taken during my visit to New Zealand in January 2010.

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, Oceania and South Pacific, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kiwi karaoke chaos

According to this article in the New Zealand Herald — the newspaper of record in its country’s largest city, Auckland — karaoke bars in Auckland aren’t really about the singing; they’re places where people go to engage in far more sinister activities. The Herald compares the typical karaoke pub in that fair city to “an opium den of the 19th century,” and states that in such a venue, “privacy, alcohol and more than a touch of criminality combine to shape one of the city’s new dens of iniquity. Police aren’t concerned about the terrible singing of businessmen – they are worried about drug-dealing, money-laundering, gross intoxication and prostitution.” Well, at least it’s a relief that the local constables aren’t policing the vocal quality of karaoke singers.

I have to say, I’ve been to Auckland, and I’ve sung karaoke there (This occurred in January 2010, when New Zealand became country no. 17 on my World Karaoke Tour; my report on that particular H-Bomb appearance will be the subject of an upcoming blog post). But I didn’t witness any of the depraved pursuits that the Herald depicts as commonplace in its jurisdiction’s karaoke bars. I didn’t feel that I’d wandered into a modern-day opium den. Continue reading

Categories: police blotter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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