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36 hours in Rotorua

Community Highlights Oceania 36 hours in Rotorua

I really liked this city. It is very easy to get around on foot and like most (it seems) New Zealand towns it is laid out in a grid. 6DEBEFB92219AC681735785BF7F42D26.jpg There are some lovely gardens with pretty little pavilions 6DEFC8C32219AC6817F5C116FF34E0D2.jpg6DEE53682219AC681726F1FBD8B7FBEE.jpg and some intresting statues 6DF41DAF2219AC68174DDCE4E6E9FCC1.jpg Lake Rotorua is the second largest lake in New Zealand and the city is well known for it's thermal activity and sulphorous smell. In various places around the city there are 'hot pools' with signs warning people not to go near them. 6DF55D8B2219AC6817C87570A89135E8.jpg6DF1710F2219AC68170E5523E77EC2DA.jpg6DF2A4B42219AC6817107713ABD1FFA6.jpg
On my first evening I decided to join a 'Maori cultural experience' involving a greeting ceremony into the Tamahaki village 6DF6F2FC2219AC6817B4B9815F9FCE63.jpg6DF853A82219AC681754C50AB62E8303.jpg some interactive demonstrations of craft and culture, 6DF982622219AC6817C6FD5DCE1976A5.jpg during which some of the male visitors were taught the haka, and some live performance art. We were also given a really good meal after being shown how it had been cooked in the traditonal way in underground ovens 6DFA87C02219AC6817D78D2CB1412637.jpg I am always slightly suspicious about the authenticity of stuff like this but this particular Maori run activity was recommended in my AA trave guide and I am glad that I did it.
On Monday morning I joined a tour to the 'thermal wonderland' of Wai-O-Tapu and it was definitely worth doing.This whole area is actively geo-thermal and there are some amazing sights 6DFB717B2219AC6817B4690A80827D94.jpg6DFC6D2A2219AC681787A0C4A8E670E7.jpg6DFE64122219AC6817B88EE716EBFC70.jpg and in the afternoon I visited the museum. This is the first museum that I have had to pay for but I think it was worth the NZ$20 fee. 6DED2B762219AC681785A687252354FD.jpg The museum was opened as a bath house in 1908 offering geo-thermal therapautic treatments to patients from around the world. It has gone through various identities since then, part of it being a nightclub for twenty five years, and it now displays each of those identities in different parts of the building. There is also a section of the building devoted to an extremely good exhibition of Maori history and life and a cinematic/seat experience that brings a volcanic explosion right into your body. Definitely worth a visit.
I am sure that Rotorua deserves a much longer stay than I had time for. Apart from anything else there are many 'adventure' activities on offer in the area, including black and white water rafting, abseiling into a massive cave and skydiving. I hope I managed to do it some justice in the short time I had there but on Tuesday morning I had to move on to Turangi for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing one of the 'must do' things in everybody's travel guide.

This featured blog entry was written by busyboots from the blog Back Down Under 2015.
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By busyboots

Posted Wed, Feb 12, 2014 | Comments