Rotorua stinks. Well, that’s what the shirts in the souvenir shops say, anyway. Make no mistake, the volcanic vents around Rotorua definitely lend a rotten egg scent to the air in the region, but the place is still well worth a visit. It may assault your olfactory senses, but the clean air, plentiful lakes, steam, mud pools, geisers and forests are a delight for the eyes. The photographic opportunities are abundant, if you look for them.
Having been there a couple of times before, I had covered most of the better known locales, but this time I wanted to capture something a little more unique. My early research indicated that sunrise and sunset can be absolutely stunning over Rotorua’s lakes, so as soon as I drove into town, I stopped off at the Rotorua Visitor’s Centre to ask about good spots to shoot the sunset and sunrise. The woman who helped me was only on her second day on the job, but after some discussion with me and a study of an area map, she suggested I come to this spot.
When I arrived, the air was crisp, and a strong breeze was stirring up the water. A couple of ducks huddled together at the end of the jetty. Otherwise, I had the place to myself, and the clouds and light were setting up for a good show. Still, it was a working jetty, and before the show could truly get underway, a lone fisherman in a flash new boat was making his way towards me. He seemed to be struggling just trying to dock. Eventually, he got alongside the jetty and jumped out to tie off the boat. As he struggled to tie off the front, the back began to swing away from the jetty, so I started heading down to lend him a hand. Before I could get there, he slipped on the slick jetty and ended up in the drink, his boat still not secured. I grabbed hold of the boat with one hand and offered him my other. I pulled him out, but not before nearly going in myself, and soon the boat was secure. He left to get his wife from the resort, and after a bit more of a faff, they had the boat on a hitch and on its way out of the water.
With calm restored to the scene, the sun set, and the light show began. Dusk in Rotorua, just me and the ducks once again…