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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo
December 4th 2011
Published: December 14th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY


Off to Waitomo today, stopped off for a walk on the way through some old gold mines, disused now as theres no gold left. Once it was the one of the biggest mines digging for gold. We arrived at our accomodation for the night and it was very nice again. We were sharing with 7 people but they were off our bus so it was all good. Me and Sophie had some lunch, we are saving money and cooking for ourselves now - so noodles it was! After lunch we went black water rafting which we had signed up for on the bus. We were fitted with wet suits, wellies, helmets then found a blown up innertube to fit our bums. Varied from car to tractor tubes depending on how big you are, I went for a lorry one. We were led through caves underground floating on the water sat in our tubes. The caves were formed thousands of years ago due to the rock being limestone in the area. At some places they where 2ft tall and at some 100ft tall. We had to jump down waterfalls, climb up and down rocks and fit through really tight gaps. Not for ones with claustrophobia! When were deep in the cave we turned our headlights off and the roof was full of glow worms. They looked like stars in the night sky. As it was pitch black we then had to navigate our own way down the river for a while, bumping into the sides and getting a bit lost. At the end we were freezing cold so we had a hot shower and a hot soup and bagles. M


Woke up early to travel to Rotarua, stopped off on the way to go for a walk through some caves but stayed dry this time! Looking at all the stalactites and stalacmites was very interesting. After the walk we jumped back on the big green bus and off we went. The phrase of the day being 'what time are the wheels rolling?' When we got to Rotorua me and Sophie went for a walk around the lake, where there was a flock of black swans. Quite evil looking with there bright red beaks. The air smelt of egg, as it is geothermal here and there are geysers that produce sulphur into the air. You could have gone to a park full of geysers but as it was $28 we decided against it! That night we went to an authentic Maori night which we loved. On the bus there we had to pick our 'chief' for the night. It was some guy chosen and he was our representative. When we arrived we were led into a small arena were the Maori chiefs performed their warning off dance which included weapons, shouting and pulling faces. Our chief had to look him in the eye all the way through - then touched noses twice, we were then allowed into there village. We walked around the village were we learnt how they carved into wood and into there skin, even in there faces. I learnt how to do the haka, thought I was quite good, especially pulling the scary face at the end. The maori's then did a performance for us with the songs and dances which was good, they were all good singers. After that we then had our hangi, not hungi, hangi. That is the way they cook there food, in the ground. It is but in baskets on top of hot rocks so its half steamed and smoked and left there for hours. They put the meat in first, then the veg and the fish on top, then cover it in sacks and mud. They prepared it for us and laid it out on a buffet. As we had been on noodles for the last few days it was a good feed going back up as many times as we wanted! M


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