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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5 (September 1, 1929)

Cave of Ancient Geysers

Cave of Ancient Geysers.

Then there is that fairy-like grotto, the Alum Cave—it deserves a more picturesque name. Blocks of pure alum lie scattered about the floor. The cave widens out to about forty feet, with a height at the maximum of perhaps sixty feet. In the depths somewhere is a ngawha. Mr. P. McLean, of Napier, who visited the Alum Cave in the ‘Eighties, made note of the fact that the best time to enter the place is when the sun is in the western sky, opposite the entrance. “Then it shines with modified light through the shade of the waving fern leaves, and dances and glitters along the frescoed roof that has not its equal in Fairyland. Red, mauve, brown, grey, white, black and green of all shades blend together all along the roof and back and sides in a harmony reached only by the efforts of nature, and reflect their ever-changing perfections upon the surface of a beautiful pool of perfectly clear green water at the farthest recess of the cave.”