PLACE: Champagne Pool, Waiotapu Thermal Reserve
LOCATION: New Zealand
NOTORIOUS: Neon Geothermal Pools
NEAREST AIRPORT: AKL, Aukland Airport (3 hour drive)
COORDINATES: 38.359086°S 176.368901°E
CURRENCY: New Zealand Dollar
This place looks like the birthplace of neon. The name of the Champagne Pool comes from the efflux of carbon dioxide in the water, like a fine glass of neon champagne. This pool was formed 900 years ago by a hydrothermal eruption (relatively young in the geothermal world). The deeper water is 260 °C (500 °F) and around 75°C near the surface, so obviously we can’t swim in it. The lake also contains metalloids of orpiment and stibnite, giving the edges the neon orange colour.
Apparently the smell is extremely aversive throughout the entire park, but the colours are so unique it’s worth it. The Artist’s Palette (far bottom photo) and Devil’s Cave/Bath (neon green pool) are the other areas I would make sure to see. Seriously though, what an incredible place to be able to see all these colours naturally occurring in one place – makes me feel a bit better about all the neon we are seeing around us in fashion today!