Rotorua - New Zealand
Date: Sep 28, 2004 - 02:07 AM
We'd figured we'd reached Rotorua, by the smell of rotten eggs. Rotorua is famous for its thermal activity with bubbling hot mud pools and geysers... not to mention that bloody smell!
There's steam coming out everywhere around Rotorua - people even heat their houses off it!
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Zorbing was apparently invented here, so we decided to have a go. You basically climb into an inflated plastic sphere, get strapped in and then roll downhill. Great hangover cure! It reminded us of a giant hamster ball!
You can do 'Hydro-zorbing' - the same as above except they throw a bucket in there with you! We decided against that option.
We then up to the luge situated up on the easily pronounced, Mount Ngongotaha. It's a sort of 3 wheeled go cart thing and you fly down one of the 3 courses at great speeds. Hilarious fun and it was a nightmare trying to get Lee off it!
Whilst we were in Rotorua, we also went to the largest and best known thermal reserve - Te Whakarewarewa (This is the short name for it, 'Te Whakarewarewatanga o te Ope Taua a Wahiao' is it's full name! A bit of a mouthfull, aye?!)
The reserve is located at the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, where we watched a Maori ceremony and concert in the mare (meeting house). Also there, is the Pohutu geyser, which erupts about every 20 minutes. Sadly, it was a little windy and we didn't manage to see the full effect of it. Apparently, it spurts hot water 30 metres into the air for 5-10 minutes.
As well as the geysers, there were thermal bubbling mud pools and a replica Maori village.
Our campsite, Cosy Cottage Holiday Park, was right near town so we had a few days just wandering around town. The park was great and had it's own spas and we were right next to the river with the black swans.
The manager, Len, was great and he showed us his pictures from a trip to the UK. Almost all of the places, we'd never even been to! So, he's inspired us to do a UK road trip sometime in the future.
We ended our stay in Rotorua with a mud bath at Hells Gate, which left us and our clothes, smelling of rotten eggs for the next 2 days!
There's a lot of pix! Hope you don't get too bored!!
Black swans on the river next to our campground.
One of the Luge tracks.
Us on the gondola back to the top of the luge track.
Lee - on his 7th go on the luge!
Last trip on the gondola back to the top.
Thermal mud pools.
Mare at the NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute
Maori tribal ceremony
Joo with Pohutu geyser in the background.
You wouldn't wanna fall in that!
Excuse me, do you know where ........... is?
Mural of Captain James Cook
Hells Gate - time for a mud bath.
Kakahi Falls - The largest hot water falls in the Southern Hemisphere, with a temperature of 40 degrees C.
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