Got on my new bus from Matamata at 12.45 heading for Rotorua meaning 'second lake', but it is often called Rottenrua due to the pervading smell of Sulphur dioxide. This is due to Rotarua being a geothermal hotspot. The majority of people got dropped off either at Zorbing or at the Luge/White water rafting centres, I had opted out of doing any of the expensive activities on offer and just had a walk around town with one of the girls from my hostel dorm who wasn't on Kiwi but I'd met briefly in Auckland. We walked to the lake and then she wanted food but as I was going on a Maori cultural evening which included a traditional Hangi meal I went back to the room to get ready.
I headed to Tamaki tours for 7pm and got my ticket for the evening. On the bus I met Lea, a French girl who was on my Kiwi bus. Whilst on the bus one of the men had to volunteer to be chief of our tribe as when we got to the recreation Maori village we were to be greeted with a traditional greeting to determine whether we came as friends or foe. After the greeting we entered the village and got told about different aspects of Maori culture, such as the tattooing of the body and carving and home life. Then it was time for our Hangi meal. This is a meal that is cooked for around 3 hours in an earth oven, using hot rocks to slowly cook the food. It was absolutely delicious and I was stuffed afterwards! We also went into the meeting house where we were entertained with songs and dances. The whole evening actually took just over 3 hours, and was very impressive.