Rotorua, New Zealand: Te Puia Geothermal Park

Jessica Peterson

Ironically, the most beautiful place on Earth looks like another planet. We almost didn’t witness Pohutu Geyser, the majestic 100-foot natural wonder you see below. Realizing we were cramming way too much into a 10-day trip through both North and South Island, we contemplated skipping geothermal hotspots in favor of glaciers farther south. What a mistake that would have been!

Te Puia, a 60-hectare valley with more than 500 geothermal wonders, is absolutely mesmerizing in its beauty, power, and otherworldliness. Where else can you feel like you’re both on the Moon and a Swiss alpine lake? This landscape was begging for an impromptu photo shoot, so I hurried back to our campervan, changed, and twirled my way through the park, undeterred by the curious Chinese tour group cueing up around us. If a heavy rain had not swept in, I never would have left. Truly a magical day.


This rock reminds me of the Nome King in “Return to Oz”



Dress: BCBG (shop similar styles)


Dress: BCBG (shop similar styles)


Dress: BCBG (shop similar styles)


Photography by Tim & Jessica Peterson

Jacket: Steve Madden via TJ Maxx (similar styles)

Scarf: H&M Tokyo (similar)

Sunglasses: Target (similar)

Earrings: Bali

On Tim

Jacket: Calvin Klein Outlet (similar)

Sunglasses: Ross

Scarf: Kmart

Camera bag: Case Logic (similar)

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • Barbara Slabaugh

    Absolutely stunning, would definitely have been a mistake to forego that.
    Thanks for sharing the earth with us Global Girl and Guy Friday. Love the touch of romance at the end!

    • Thanks, Barb. One of these days I’ll get Global Guy to do a guest post: “My Life with a Perfectionist Travel Blogger.”

  • You are one heck of a photographer! And that dress!! Stunning. Wow.

    What a great part of the world to share! I love how you call it like being on the moon and on a Swiss alpine lake. What a description!

    xx Hailey

    • Thank you so much, Hailey. NZ is truly one of my favorite parts of the world.