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  • New Zealand lies along the Pacific Rim of Fire. A large swath of the North Island is geothermally active, with semi-dormant volcanoes, geysers, boiling mud pools and other unusual geothermic features. Famous Pohutu Geyser gushes hot water 2-3 times per hour at Rotorua. width:640;;height:402
  • Sulfuric deposits at Pohutu Geyser create fantastic  stalagtite-type formations that hiss with steam. width:640;;height:480
  • This stunning hot turqoise lake is another geothermic creation near Pohutu Geyser. width:640;;height:369
  • Hot steam glides above a small lake in Rotorua's Kuirau Park. width:640;;height:480
  • Steaming, boiling mud pit at Te Puia near Rotorua. width:640;;height:480
  • The North Island is also dotted with dramatic volcanic peaks like Mt Taranaki, glimpsed from New Plymouth's gorgeous landscaped gardens. width:640;;height:480
  • Mt. Taranaki rears its rocky head above New Plymouth town. width:640;;height:382
  • New Zealand is equally famed for its superb forests such as this dense stand of native Tree Ferns and Totara Trees. width:640;;height:480
  • Stately Pohutukawa trees grace several coastal regions around the North Island. This beauty lies on Coromandel Peninsula. width:640;;height:480
  • Pohutukawa trees sometimes sprout thick clumps of roots high up in their branches.The roots then reach back towards the ground. width:640;;height:480
  • Stunning Coromandel Peninsula. width:640;;height:480
  • A more desolate corner of the Coromandel. width:640;;height:480
  • Incredibly vibrant green hills and small turqoise-blue bays grace the far tip of Coromandel Peninsula. width:640;;height:410
  • In contrast, central North Island has many dry scrubby regions, some marked by random rock outcroppings or cliffs. width:640;;height:480
  • A dry, dusty interior road winds its way over hilly farm lands. width:360;;height:480
  • Huge volumes of teal green water race through Huka Gorge along the Waikato River, North Island's longest river. width:360;;height:480
  • ...then plunges over Huka Falls near Taupo. width:640;;height:480
  • Mountainous Tongariro National Park features three volcanic mountains and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike, considered one of the best day hikes in the world. width:640;;height:382
  • Tongariro Chateau stands majestically in Tongariro National Park. width:640;;height:480
  • The gorgeous Waikato River makes a sharp U turn in Taupo. width:640;;height:480
  • Beautiful stands of trees line the Waikato for most of its length. width:640;;height:480
  • Chalky white cliffs on the Waikato River near Taupo. width:640;;height:361
  • A hot spring runs into the Waikato River, providing a wonderful natural spa. width:640;;height:480
  • 7-Meter high tree hedges line many roads in the Bay of Plenty area on North Island's east coast. width:640;;height:480
  • The incredibly dense hedges protect delicate kiwi orchards from wind. width:640;;height:480
  • Kiwis ripen on a vine near Te Puke, Bay of Plenty. width:640;;height:480
  • A gorgeous shallow bay at Coromandel town, located about halfway along the Peninsula. width:640;;height:333
  • Many supremely empty beaches line the Peninsula, inviting solo visitors to stroll in solitude. width:640;;height:454
  • These sand dunes on Coromandel protect interior areas, creating calm water ways and dense swaths of vegetation. width:640;;height:480
  • Another tranquil spot along Coromandel's diverse coast. width:625;;height:480
  • Autumn tree in full foliage. width:640;;height:480
  • Majestic kaori trees are a New Zealand native that are making a comeback after early settlers' aggressive felling. width:360;;height:480
  • A charming waterfall in New Plymouth. width:360;;height:480
  • These tall blonde grasses grow in profuse tufts in many rural areas, lending another unique landscaping element. width:640;;height:480
  • Neon-green hills at the tip of Coromandel Peninsula. width:640;;height:462
  • A final dramatic glimpse of Pohutu Geyser in Rotorua. width:640;;height:480
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