Waiotapu, New Zealand

Volcanic wonderland -- The North Island of New Zealand is just as geo-thermally active as Iceland. Superheated pools, colored by acidic compounds of sulfur, silica, antimony and iron oxide (rust), boil and seethe in this volatile landscape.

The two pictures above depict the famous "champagne pool" at the Wai-O-Tapu ("sacred waters" in Maori) thermal reserve, where tracks lead to craters, blowholes and geysers, all within 30km of the hot spring lakeside resorts of Rotorua and Taupo.

Here, acid-laced pools are dyed either by the noxious acids they contain, or by the algae and bacteria that have adapted to this infernal environment.

These photos were taken with the Nikon D100 digital SLR and 20mm f/2.8 lens.

New Zealand 2004

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