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Published: March 14th 2016
Rotorua youth hostel is peachy. I'm in a four bed female only room and no bunks! The reception staff are lovely and put a map in my hand and give me directions to the nearest supermarket. It's a bit of a Lidl moment at the Rotorua Pak 'n Save, but I manage to find enough veggie delights.
Chores sorted I decide to start off my holiday activities with some inactivity at the Polynesian Spa. I opt for the slightly salacious sounding 'adults only' section. Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on your proclivities) this just means no screaming kids jumping in the pools and splashing everyone rather than some car key swapping scenario.
The pools are built on an historic Maori site The Pupunitanga, which means ambush, to remember the many battles fought here. Years later in 1882 an arthritic priest, Father Mahoney, dipped his painful hand in the pool and found relief. Ever since it was known as The Priest's Pool. The Pavilion Bath was the first to make a commercial use of the healing acidic waters and the Duchess Bath was opened in 1901. Use of these pools continued until 1969 when they fell into disrepair. The newer Polynesian
Spa was built in the 1970s but the old pools were retained for posterity as a little bit of Rotorua history.
My favourite pool is the hottest one overlooking part of Lake Rotorua called Sulphur Bay. Despite the water being warm, sulphurous and extremely low in oxygen, therefore containing little in the way of plants or creatures, the birds still seem to love it. They do however need to nip off for their equivalent of Pak n Save if they get a bit peckish!
As it's only the afternoon there aren't too many people around so some sun, heat and relaxation are unspoilt by the usual inane chatter that seems to follow groups of people around like a swarm of annoying mosquitos.
I stay in until I'm fully cooked and fingers wrinkly before getting myself a refreshing smoothie and then head back to my hostel for some food and chill time before bed.
First proper day in New Zealand has been fab. Here's to many more. Bring it on !
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