a mountain with a steam coming out of it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Pushed By a Māori Man Over Soap in New Zealand.

This was all in good fun: an instant classic travel moment for me.

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand, which is also known as Aotearoa. They are proud of their heritage and culture — so why would I be pushed by a Māori man over soap in New Zealand?

Pushed By a Māori Man Over Soap in New Zealand.

Lady Knox Geyser in Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland near Rotorua erupts just after 10:15 every morning. Because many geysers can be unpredictable, Lady Knox Geyser is popular because visitors are guaranteed to view its eruption.

The reason why the eruptions of Lady Knox Geyser are so consistently reliable is because they are not naturally induced. Rather, soap is used to force the eruption of the geyser. Māori people organize and present the eruption of Lady Knox Geyser.

Because Lady Knox Geyser was the first geyser I had ever seen erupt when I visited New Zealand for the first time years ago, I already knew that soap was used to induce its eruption.

As I am crossing the road from the visitor centre to the parking lot to get to Lady Knox Geyser, a man who was acting as a crossing guard for visitors asked another man by a vehicle if he had the soap.

I stopped in my tracks. Did I just hear what he asked?

He noticed that I stopped. I turned to him and asked if he just asked if the other man had the soap.

“Yes” is what he replied, puzzled and wondering why I asked.

“Lady Knox Geyser?”, I asked.

He laughed; said “Sto-o-o-op!” as though he did not realize that I already knew the “magic” behind the eruptions of Lady Knox Geyser; and pushed me — but in a friendly way. It was all in good fun.

Final Boarding Call

This was one of those moments in travel where you had to be there to understand the full impact of just how funny this was — but for me, it became an instant personal classic moment.

The unidentified Māori man might not forget that moment, either…

Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!