Climate change aside, the reliance of shipping on fossil fuels is inherently unsustainable.
Glimpsing the sea floor is a rare privilege. Human eyes have touched only 5 percent of it; we know less about the planet’s deepest reaches than we do about the surface of the moon. On every submersible dive, a new species is discovered.
And yet, at the start of every hike, we find the trappings of humanity. Usually it’s a beer bottle or two tossed at the side of the road. (I once spotted the remains of an entire case tucked discretely into the shrubbery.) As we trek uphill, the casual merrymakers drop out, and we encounter only the occasional tramping hut, an overnight bunkhouse for hikers, firewood stacked neatly at its door.
What I didn’t miss, though, was the springs’ sulfur aroma, familiar after visits to Yellowstone and Lassen Volcanic, which signifies the origins of the water kilometers below the Earth’s surface. The smell is a sign not just of a therapeutic bathing spot, but also of New Zealand’s incredibly active geology.