Left Te Mata Estate today for Lake Rotorua. Lake Rotorua is a large lake in the middle of the North Island that is a hot bed of geothermal activity [get it "hot" bed/hot water/geothermal...ha.ha.ha]. It is both a lake and a town that sit on top of a very thin crust of the earth's surface. It has little geysers and hot springs popping up all over. I also happens to smell like a beauty parlour/rotten eggs and it is New Zealand's most touristy [and tacky] city. The whole strip into town [about 4 miles] is lined with motels that advertise spa pools or hot tubs. It's kind of like Tahoe only without wedding chapels.
Got to Rotorua around 1:30 and had a bit of lunch at the Pig and Whistle. There seems to be a bar in ever town here named The Pig and Whistle so I have decided to eat and/or drink in every one of them we stumble upon. Quite the noble goal.
After lunch, we checked into our hotel [nice but nothing special and actually kinda creepy in that "Valley of the Dolls/Stepford Wives" kinda way]. I had made massage appointments at the Polynesian Spa for 5:15. The Polynesian Spa is one of the oldest establishments in Rotorua. It started when a priest [forgot the name] started coming here in the late 1800 to take in the natural alkaline filled hot waters to cure his arthritis. A whole business sprung up around this in the early 1900's, creating the town of Rotorua. So now it is a mutli-million dollar spa right on the lake with many different pools and different spa therapies such as massage and mud wraps. We soaked for a while and got massaged and soaked some more and went back to the hotel.
As an aside, this area was once home to a large number of the Maori People. They too found the naturally occurring hot water useful. They built houses over it to keep them warm in the winter and used the heat for bathing and cooking.
It started pouring rain around 6PM and did not stop. Ordered pizza and salad and went to bed early as we were going to Wiatomo tomorrow for some cave adventures..................