After Matatmata we headed further south to Rotorua, this area has a lot of thermal activity here and is home to numerous mud pools and geo thermal pools.
After a nice drive down to Rotorua we found the Base hostel and paid for a deal which included a Maori culture night and a free entry to the Polynesian Spa.
So after this we headed to Te Whakarewarewa and saw what was many of natural pools and geysers, our guide showed us how the Maori people used reeds in the past for essential clothing and baskets and even insulation for the home. We made our way around the pools and geysers and after a bit of waiting the main geyser started to go off.
It was pretty cool but not as spectacular as some may think but it is a magnificent site seeing the hot water cascading in the air and then joining back into the regular river which runs to Lake Rotorua.
All the pools and geysers are cordoned off and access is not possible.
That evening we attended the Mitai show which is the local Maori culture show which demonstrates the Haka amongst many other
traditional dances and weapon demonstrations. Our chief had to be chosen and it was a guy named Paddy from Birmingham so he represented us meeting the Maori people. The tasks Paddy had to do were mostly leading us around but when we reached the stage area which is laid out like a old Maori village he was made to stand facing the Maori doing a dance which was pretty intimidating during this the guy laid down a silverfern leaf as a peace offering and Paddy had to pick it up and say words on behalf of us his tribe. With that done the rest of the show started.
During the show the intensity and energy that these women and men produce is amazing and the voices of the women are so strong they are as much part of the traditions as the men are.
We also had to take part in a few basic movements as directed by the Maori on stage.
After the cultural part was over it was time to eat from the Hangi which is food that has been steamed in the ground for over 5 hours, the food was delicious and the lamb
was amazingly tender, We also tried the Kumara sweet potato which was really nice.
This was a great evening and the Maori culture is a delight to see.
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