One of the things I had really wanted to do in New Zealand was to bathe in the natural hot springs. We had already been to Waiwera thermal pools, a series of man-made bathing pools which drew on natural hot water. One of the pools was too hot to sit in, although the feel of the hot water pouring onto one's shoulders was very relaxing, and it was amazing to be just sitting, very warm, in water in the open . Swimming wasn't an option.
But it wasn't quite what I had envisaged, so we stopped just before Rotorua. Just off the road, a hot stream met a cold stream, providing a mix of water. We eased our way into the murky waters beneath trees where pintails whirled and fluttered. Choosing a spot according to temperature was easy.
It was a wonderful place to relax, soothing sore muscles in the sulphurous water.