Adam and Katie's great adventure 2017 travel blog









The cafe in Cambridge

The Waikato river

The park in Cambridge

The thermal pools in Rotorua

Maori architecture

Government Gardens

Today we left Middle Earth for a much more normal sounding place. What would normally take an hour from Matamata to Rotorua took us over five hours courtesy of a change of buses and a 150 minute wait in a random town called Cambridge. It's the first Cambridge we have ever been to despite being around 17,000km from the actual one people have heard of!

In truth we didn't have high expectations about Cambridge, on trip advisor there is about five things to do and our host last night commented that Cambridge has a few nice cafes and that's about it. In actual fact we really enjoyed our quick stopover here. The info centre allowed us to leave our backpacks for free. We headed to a small cafe for a nice coffee and Moroccan mint tea. The place reminded us of Weymouth a bit as all the locals were in there talking to each other. It was nice to get out of a big city for a change as the countryside and smaller towns are noticeably friendlier both here and in Australia.

After our drinks we decided to visit the Cambridge museum. The museum consisted of two tiny rooms but in truth it was quite interesting to learn about the 37 people who volunteered to fight for the allies in WW1 and their participation in the battle at Gallipoli. There was also a small section on the Hawks Bay earthquake back in 1931 which flattened much of the country, especially the east coast of the North Island.

After the museum we went to see the Waikato river which snakes its way past the town and also visited a beautiful lake.

We got on the next bus and headed to Rotorua. Once we had arrived we decided to make the most of the weather (it wasn't raining for once) and so headed out to Kuirau Park where there are lots of thermal lakes which are bubbling away including an amazing area where the temperature was so hot smoke was bellowing out of the water. We then visited an area which still has some Maori architecture before heading over to the Government Gardens for a quick peek at the buildings.

Finally, we took a short bus journey to our next AirBnB accommodation. We are staying with a Sri Lankan family this evening, the house is bloody freezing but fortunately we have a heater in our room!

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