Friday 10th April 2009
Lisa and I rose early that freezing (well by Auckland standards) Godo Friday and headed South down in my nice new Hawkins branded car (complete with hard hat and orange vest) to our first stop off in Cambridge by the Waikato river for coffee and french toast infront of a live fire - much needed which is a shame as I need to get rid of my smugness and realise the UK is in for better weather than us for the foreseeable future!!
We then drove the rest of the way down to smelly Rotorua - one of the world's most concentrated geothermal areas and somewhere I've always wanted to see. It is very cool just to see steam rising from vents and from bushes by the road quite randomly!! It does honk though cause of all the sulphur.
1st stop was to see the prize winning sheep at the Agrodome. Quite fitting in a country where there are more sheep than people!! Way more sheep than people - 10 times as many!! The we went to see Lake Rotorua which is pretty big (not too sure what else I can say about it)
and then to the cosy cottages campsite and pitched the tent and got very worried about camping in such cold conditions!!!
To take our minds off that we went Zorbing!!! A typical Kiwi nutter ride - It was so much fun going head over heels in my giant hamster ball and couldn't stop laughing the whole way down! I can't wait to go back and try Hydro zorbing where they pour some water in there for good measure!!!
With the smile still on my face from that Lise and I caught a ride up on the gondola to the top of some big hill with great views to the lake and random steam venting all over the landscape. And to add to our fun we luged down to the bottom! Wheeeeeeee was our favourite saying of that day.
Camping was cold soooooo cold but hey we were prepared and a couple of hours soaking in the natural hot pools on site with a glass of vino before bed helped. Star gazing from a natural hot pool is always a nice way to end the day!!
Saturday 11th April
Today we saw the Wai-O-Tapu "Thermal
Wonderland". Lots of cool bubbling mud pools and coloured lakes - The champagne pools (orange and green pools) and the devils bath (green lake) were my favourite. Its so cool to see things like that in such concentration. Like nowhere I've ever been. Loved it all.
We then rushed off to catch Lady Knox Geyser. She erupts every day at 10.15 and it was pretty cool to see. Having had enough of the bloody cold (I never actually thought I'd have to use my fleece hat skarf and gloves I'd brought just in case) and having had our fill of geothermal delights we headed to the sun at the Coromnandel Peninsula.........
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