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Published: June 20th 2009
We left our campsite at 10am the next morning in search of the Rotorua museum. A few quick spins around the town and we eventually found it. When we got to the ticket office we asked the guy behind the counter when the next guided tour was. He replied 11am in the poshest English accent. He would have made the queen sound common. As it was 10:15 we said we would come back before 11:00. We left the building wondering was it a joke and he was put up to it or were there some secret cameras filming us. We returned before 11am but someone new was behind the counter. The next person up was this eccentric old lady who was to be our tour guide. She was very good and friendly but a bit odd. The tour explained the reason why the Tudor looking house was built. When the British arrived they wanted to turn Rotorua into the top Thermal Pool/Hot Springs destination in the world. They thought at the time that hot baths would cure everything and they advertised it as ‘The Cure’. Through the years the building was used for wounded soldiers from WW1 and WW2. Then it
was turned into a restaurant and then a nightclub before it was eventually turned into a museum and restored to its full glory. They have a 20 minute video explaining the history of the area and about how the Maori settled here first before it was colonised by the British and how both civilisations learned to co-exist.
After the tour we drove a little outside the town to go Zorbing. This involves getting inside a giant rubber ball and rolling down a hill. When we got there we were given two options. One was to go strapped in and roll down the hill. The other was not to be strapped in and go down with water inside. I choose to be strapped and Michelle choose water. We drove to the top of the hill and Michelle went first. Her ball was filled with warm water and she had to dive inside it. Soon she was rolling down the hill bouncing around inside the ball. When she got to the bottom they strapped me in and let me go. It was over quick and all I can remember was seeing grass, sky, grass, sky etc etc. We did get some
good photo’s and it was fun but it was hard to remember it was over that quick. Michelle enjoyed hers and they did advise I do it in the water so maybe its my own fault. We went back into town after wards and went to a park with lots of bubbling mud pools. We walked around there for awhile before going to our campsite.
As we were in a volcanic part of New Zealand most of what we would see was related to that. Next day we went to see a geyser just outside Rotorua. As part of the entrance fee we got an introduction to Maori culture. We went to Maori ‘meeting house’ where we got to see the Haka and other such things preformed. As a part of it we both had to go up on stage at different points. Michelle had to try and play a musical instrument like a ball on a string and slap her hands with it. It takes some skill to do it and it is quite interesting to see the Maori women do it. I had to get on stage and perform the Haka with a load of snap happy
Japanese tourists. God, I thought I took lots of photos! After this ceremony we went to see the Geyser. We were told it erupts 2-3 times every hour so I was looking forward to that. When we got there it was already erupting. I insisted we wait until it stops so that we could see it erupt again. It never actually stopped erupting. I’m not sure why or maybe it never does but even though it was amazing to see I was disappointed we never saw it erupt. As we were leaving Rotorua we stopped at many different sights along the way. There are just so many natural things to see here it’s a bit much to write about all of them. Every few minutes there is a sign post for some scenic reserve, walk or waterfall. It’s endless. The beauty of the landscape is enough to keep anyone occupied here. Each morning that we wake up we have a wonderful view of a beach or lake for breakfast and luckily the last few days have been clear blue skies. The nights though have been freezing so we purchased another duvet to keep us warm. We listen to the radio
every morning to hear the weather and we have heard reports of it been up to -6 in parts of the south island. You can see the map(above) of where we’ve been in NZ so far and what route we have taken. We are now in Wellington and ready to go see the All Blacks play France in the Westpac Stadium. France beat them last week and it still hurts the New Zealanders that they knocked them out of the world cup in 2007(a game I was also at). I should probably be shouting for the European team! But I hope NZ thump the sh1t out of them!
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
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