Splashing down into Rotorua's Lakes with the Duck Tour


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua
July 24th 2012
Published: July 24th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

The Duck Tour, which I made, was the scenic tour around Rotorua City and the Lakes. The tour took place in a 70 year old vehicle of the Second World War. The DUKW’s were used during the war to drive on land as well as on water. Nowadays the so called duck-vehicles found their place in the tourism.

The starting point of the tour was the Rotorua tourism centre, where everybody was picked up. The vehicle was clean and over every seat was laying a blanket if you get cold. The windows were made of plastic, so that you could roll them up to open them. The Driver was entertaining and funny and also good to understand for not native speakers. Furthermore the vehicle was wired up for sound; hence also the passengers in the last rows could understand the guide very well. Before we started everybody got a toy trumpet, which looked like a beak of a duck. Blowing into the toy trumpet it made a sound like a duck, which was obviously great fun for children.

The First stop was Lake Rotorua, where the guide told the love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. After some interesting information about the sulphur point we drove through the government gardens, where the driver told us about the museum and the Blue baths. After that we drove further to the Blue Lake (which is also called Tikitapu), where we got our first “splashdown”. On a shallower place of the lake the guide drove the duck-vehicle into Tikitapu with the music of mission impossible playing in the background to create a tense atmosphere. The guide gave us some interesting facts and information about the lake itself and told us the story of a Maori princess who lost her necklace in this lake. Besides providing some information about Tikitapu, the driver asked for some volunteers, who wanted to drive “the duck”. After all, some children were allowed to drive the vehicle over the lake for some minutes. After bringing the duck out of the water we drove to our next stop: Lake Okareka. There we had another splashdown, of course accompanied by the thrilling music of mission impossible. The driver showed us the houses on the lake shore for which Lake Okareka is so well known. Besides looking at the house from the view of the lake, he also gave us the prices to buy such a house, which can be up to some million dollars. Furthermore some other children got then the opportunity to drive the vehicle on the lake.



After this it was time to go back to Rotorua. One the way back we could catch a glimpse of Mount Tarawera, the volcano that erupted in 1886 for the last time and cost many people’s lives. Our guide also told the story of the pink and white terraces, which were the New Zealand’s self-announced 8th world wonder. We also got to hear the story about the appearing waka (canoe) on lake Tarawera as on omen for the eruption of the volcano. On the last ten minutes of the ride, the guide had a short quiz for his passengers. The questions were dealing with the information provided during the tour and also prices could have been won at the end. The tour stopped where it began: at the tourism centre Rotorua. Everybody got a mint-sweet after getting out of the duck also the toy trumpets, which were distributed at the beginning of the tour, could be kept.

The guide was friendly and entertaining all the time and provided his passengers with interesting facts. For further information, just check out the Duck Tour's website: http://www.rotoruaducktours.co.nz/


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