Blogs from Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua April 29th 2019

This is just a quick update to let everyone know where we are and where we are headed next just in case you should want to touch base. We always love to hear what you are all up to too so feel free to drop us a line anytime and I can then also confirm that you are not hitting the delete button as soon as you see who it is from! lol After returning from Aus in October last year we moved back into our very comfortable home and have appreciated the space if offers after so long living in a motorhome plus we had forgotten what stunning views we have of Lake Rotorua and farmland. We had hoped to then sell the house to move to a warmer area of the North Island but ... read more
Devoy 1 Decking

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 9th 2019

Rotorua Thursday /Friday 7th 8th March This is the centre of the geothermal area and after yesterday's trip to Orakei Korako, today we went to Wai-O-Tapu. There is a geyser, Lady Knox geyser, and a member of staff pours some soap into the geyser, which is a surfacterant that makes the geyser shoot up in a cloud of steam and soapsuds. Apparently it was discovered at the beginning of the last century when prisoners were clearing the land for tree cultivation, found a hot spring that they used to wash in, and one of the prisoners dropped his soap in the spring. After a few minutes the hot water shot up in a fountain scattering naked prisoners in every direction. They are terraces covered in silica, and various colours from different minerals underground. There is a ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 7th 2019

The Maoris donated the land of Tongariro National Park to the government as long it is not settled, and preserved in its natural state. It is a large natural park round three currently dormant volcanoes. The last eruption was in 2007, 12 years after the previous one, so another one is probably due about now. The large central plateau was covered in lava flow, now fertile and covered in trees and alpine plants. The whole of New Zealand is on an earthquake zone, and earthquakes often trigger a volcano eruption. Every hotel has instructions on what to do in the event (‘Get under a piece of furniture and hold on to it,’ though not many of our rooms have had furniture big enough to get under.) The Airbnb places have emergency rations that they list ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua February 13th 2019

Premier arrêt : Rotorua ! Toute première impression : grand soleil (et ça comment ça fait du bien!!) mais l'odeur d'oeuf pourri est belle et bien là 😂 La ville est sympa, tout peut se faire à pied, c'est rempli de parcs et comme le lac est juste à côté on arrive facilement vers des points de vue d'eau. First stop: Rotorua! First impression: big fat sunshine (and that feels sooooo good), but the rotten egg smell is a bit heavy. The city is really nice, you can walk to anywhere easily, it's full of parks and since the lake is close by, you can easily stop by the water and enjoy it 😊... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua February 13th 2019

Des kiwis des kiwis des kiwis !! Bon un seul réveillé en fait, et dans le noir, et qui nous a plus montré son cul que son bec, mais quand même ! Et pis aussi des gros geysers, et pis aussi un spectacle Maori, plutôt sympa cet endroit pour une attraction hyper touristique ! Kiwis kiwis kiwis! Well actually, only one was awake, and it was in the dark, and he spent more time showing us his butt than his beak, but still! And also big geysers, and a Maori show, so in the end this very very touristic place is quite worth it!... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 25th 2018

Well, it did it again. 250 words down the drain. Have to start all over again. Our flight to Auckland was about 2 1/2 hours. We were met by our new tour director, Marty, and taken to our hotel. We had another meet and greet to meet the new people on our bus. There were 34 of us in Australia, but only 20 went on to New Zealand. So we picked up another tour, plus about 8 people who were just doing New Zealand only. So now we have 47 people on a bus designed for 48. Takes longer to load and unload. The first morning, we did a bus tour of Auckland and then we went on a 90 minute cruise around Waitemata Harbor. We had free time in the afternoon, so we did our ... read more
The Arboatum
More flowers
At the botanical gardens

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua October 26th 2018

The area around Rotorua is packed with geothermal features, one of my all time favorite things, I could have spent many more days exploring here. The region is somewhat similar to Yellowstone in that there are random features spread across a decent distance...although feels very different because it's fairly commercialized (e.g., in Yellowstone you pay to enter the park and then have access to everything, while in New Zealand every set of features is it's own area with entrance fees...and at one stop they literally poured soap in a geyser to make it erupt on their schedule). There were some amazing colored pools, and it was interesting to see how towns have been built around/on top of some of the geothermal areas. I was also pretty excited to eat corn cooked in a hot spring at ... read more
Flying out of Hokitika
Over the South Island
Over the South Island

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua May 22nd 2018

Its funny what you forget with time. From the very first moment you open the vehicle door in Rotorua the sulphur smell greets you. It stays with you constantly, sometimes wafting stronger, both outdoors and even in sometimes. Accompanied by, what is quickly becoming our travel partner, the rain everything looks different. You lose the colours of the hot pools and geothermal lakes, and the bubbling mud pots become boiling liquidy soup. However, nothing detracts from the awe that our live and volatile planet inspires each and every time. Constant steam arising from the drains holes in the street, from between trees and rocks in the park, under a garden fence charring it black in the process. Everywhere you look there is a reminder, or two. Having visited two of the four major geothermal parks here ... read more
Hinemoa Street Caravan Park
Rotorua Lake
Rotorua Lake

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 12th 2018

Auckland has been fun but I’m excited to get moving. Today we pick up our hire car and head south. First stop – Matamata, which has rebranded itself Hobbiton since its use as a film location in The Hobbit. I’m not a Lord of the Rings fan but the old man has bought me a set location tour ticket regardless. The Matamata tourist information office has been converted to resemble a hobbit hole and there is a sign which says ‘Welcome to Hobbiton’ in the street outside. They’re keen to milk their LOTR link for all it’s worth. We drive to the set location; a 1250 acre sheep farm in the middle of nowhere. Despite this, the place is heaving with tourists and set tours depart every 10 minutes hosting up to 4000 visitors a day. ... read more
Matamata tourist information
Small Hobbit hole
Large Hobbit hole

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 10th 2018

The Indian meal was bloody good – if you’re in Napier, go eat there. But I wouldn’t bother going to Napier just for the curry. Consistent with most of the places we have visited so far on the trip, the natural setting is lovely; the place a bit, well, tired? Maybe that’s being unkind, there is nothing really to fault but it could be that I am ready for a little more sophistication after almost three weeks motorcycle touring in New Zealand. For breakfast in The County Hotel I restricted myself to toast and honey - Crystal Meth Girl seemingly had a day off which was a good start. The skies were heavily overcast though, and the three-and-a-half-hour trip that we had in front of us to Rotorua promised to be, like Marge Simpson’s bowling shoes, ... read more
Huka Falls
Silver Fern at Te Puia
Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia




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