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

The Geyser-Made Terraces

The Geyser-Made Terraces.

On the opposite side of the river (the right or eastern) to the site of the old kainga and the principal springs, there are the most beautiful of the features of thermal action. These are the white silica terrace, the pyramidal bank of geysers, and the Alum Cave. There are glistening sinter slopes over which hot water flows, and there is a pink papa-kowhatu of silica below its maker, an ever-boiling spring called “Te Purewa's Throat.”

The White Terrace is about seventy feet in length, a wall like coral lace, with hot water flowing over it from small geysers. Mr. Geo. F. Allen, the veteran surveyor, who has made a more careful examination than any other visitor of the phenomena on this eastern bank, describes in detail that pretty spectacle, the “Pyramid of Geysers.” “At the foot of a dark purple cliff,” he says, “is a pyramidal bank of many-coloured earths, which contains eighteen or twenty small geysers or fumaroles. It is perhaps 30 feet high with a base of 30ft. or 40ft.

“Sea of the Rippling Waters.”

A peep of Lake Waikare-moana, shewing Paneekiri Bluff, North Island, New Zealand.

A peep of Lake Waikare-moana, shewing Paneekiri Bluff, North Island, New Zealand.

The earths of which it is composed are of many brilliant colours, yellow and green prevailing; with streaks of orange and vermilion here and there picked out with pure white. From the glowing mass of bright colours the score of little geysers and steam jets toss up in incessant, but ever-changing motion. The brilliantly-tinted earths and the sparkling ngawha (boiling springs) are backed up y the dark cliff, which, by its contrast, enhances their beauty, just as a bracelet of gems shows best contrasted with the purple velvet of its case.”