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New Zealand Diary – Day 9

April 12, 2010

By Gloria Cheung

Though I was reluctant to get up from my comfy bed, I was more attracted to the activities coming up today. After breakfast, we visited the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal area. Actually, “Wai-O-Tapu” is a Maori word meaning “Sacred Water”. I think it’s quite a suitable name for the area since numerous colorful hot springs are found there. Besides, hot air holes and boiling mud pools were everywhere around as well. The steam floated in the air made the area into a mysterious wonderland. The only thing we had to get used was the strong sulphur smell.

The part I like the most was the famous Champagne Pool. The pool’s water was jade while the bank was orange, the most captivating part was air bubbles kept rising from the bottom of the pool, which made it just like a glass of champagne. Walking around the thermal area was like going on a geography field trip, it really brought things I learnt before into live.

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The next extraordinary landform feature I saw was the Lady Knox Geyser. The geyser was induced to erupt by dropping soap into the opening of its vent. Shortly afterward, water started to eject from the vent, the jet of water reached nearly two storeys high. That was definitely magnificent.

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“Kia Ora!” said the Maori tour guide. Among all the activities today, I looked forward to the Maori village the most. We went to the Tamaki Maori Village in the evening. Ryan was chosen to be our chief. Before entering the village, Ryan represented us to take challenge from the Maori warriors. That was really extraordinary, seeing native Maori people with their traditional clothing on and performing their distinctive dance and songs to us. I was also so pleased to see some old settlement in the village. Although most of the Maori lead  a modern life in New Zealand, they didn’t forget about their cultural heritage. The best part, they preserved it well and promoted it across the world. The way they embrace their heritage just moves me.

Gloria Cheung is a Young Post junior reporter. Her trip to New Zealand was sponsored by Proactive Study Abroad.

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