is one of the most marvellous places in the thermal springs region of the North Island. It is six miles from Taupo and fifty from Rotorua, and is situated on the new road between these places. Within two miles of the hotel and homestead is the weird Geyser Valley, which was not affected by the disturbances at Tarawera and Rotomahana, in 1886. The wonders of the district include the Dragon's Mouth, an intermittent geyser, which plays every five minutes, and reaches its highest point every two hours; it makes a roaring sound, and the rock from which it emerges has a jaw resembling that of a crocodile; the lightning pool, Heron's Nest, and Black Geyser, the latter playing every minute; a mud volcano, accompanied with constant thuds; a coloured mud spring, boiling like porridge; a blue boiling pool; the Twins Geyser, one part of which plays every four minutes and the other every fifteen; hot cave with alum deposits; the Prince of Wales's Feather Geyser, over the orifice of which there is a piece of petrified wood, which splits the jet as it rises to a height of from 30 to 40 feet. Altogether the valley is an extremely
The Twins Geyser, Wairakei.
uncanny and other-worldish place. The Arateatea Rapids of the Waikato river are three miles from the hotel at Wairakei. These rapids are over half a mile in extent, and have a fall of about 150 feet. They zig-zag down a very fine incline, and may be seen from four different points of the road, which leads through beautiful fern bush. The Waiora Valley is another interesting point, which is only a mile and a half from the hotel. In this valley there is a very strong sulphur bath, and plenty of boiling pools and mud holes. There are some blue and green lakes. The celebrated Huka Falls, on the Waikato river, are on the road from Wairakei to Taupo, and are grand and beautiful beyond description. The noble river, which takes its rise in Lake Taupo, is here compressed between two solid walls of rock, forming rapids for a distance of about 300 yards. A suspension bridge has been erected over these rapids, and the tourist obtains a grand view of the seething torrent as it takes its final leap. Kerapiti, sometimes known as the Devil's Trumpet, is a wonderful steam blowhole of twelve inches in diameter, which is constantly emitting a heavy pressure of steam, estimated to be of the force of 180 pounds to the square inch. This blow-hole is called by Sir James Hector the safety-valve of New Zealand, an ascription which suggests that if it were to become clogged the country would, in its turn, become an exploded volcano, with all its people and industrial glory, distributed in space. Wairakei may be reached from Wanganui, via Pipiriki and Tokaanu, weekly, or from Rotorua thrice a week, or Napier twice weekly. The North Island trunk railway is expected to pass at a point within about thirty miles of the scene.