|ROTORUA - Saturday 10th February to Monday 12th (Days 106-108)
From Whakapapa we returned to Lake Taupo then on to Rotorua, the most popular tourist destination in the North Island and a must-do. Nicknamed 'Sulphur City' as you can imagine the whole place smelt of bad eggs. I did say to Gill that I couldn't understand why anybody would want to live somewhere that smelt of bad eggs, she replied that she does living with me!
We decided to visit Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland (rubbish name) which was amazing, especially the bubbling mud pools. The area was full of boiling pools, craters, and blowholes, including the Lady Knox Geyser which spouts off at 10.15am every day with a little help from soap powder!
In the evening we visited Tamaki Maori Village which although I feared may be embarrassing turned out to be brilliant. Our group had to choose a chief to represent us, who was then 'challenged' by a Maori warrior on arrival at he village (think facial expressions and much tongue sticking out in an agressive manner while waving some kind of weapon!). We then went to a meeting house (more aggressive behaviour) for a concert of traditional Maori songs and dances which again was great, followed by a spectacular hangi meal (cooked in the ground apparently although I reckon in an oven!). Gill and I both thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A MUST DO!!
The next day we followed a walking tour through Rotorua which took in the still very active Kuirau Park, then on to the Rotorua Museum.
Gill and I both loved our experience in Rotorua, and although you are sharing what it has to offer with hordes of other tourists, it is a must.