NZ2012 – 8th Jan – Smelly Sulphur City

***Reminder – This text was written back in 2012, at the time of the trip. Adding to Blog today!!***

8th Jan. Day 8.

Smelly Sulphur City, known as Rotorua.

Woke up to the rain lashing down. Not what we wanted!!!

After checking our travel book, we went for breakfast at a quirky place called Zippy’s Central Bar & Cafe. We don’t think it’s the same Zippy from Rainbow. Left cafe. Still lashing down. Not a beach day!!!

We decided to head to a little park called Kuirau Park, which has a Geothermal Area. Weird to have rain coming down, yet bubbling pools of water at steam rising from everywhere.After putting our Kags in Bags to good use, we headed off to ZORB Rotorua, after a quick stop at the big lake.

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Steam in the Rain

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Us with our Kagool’s….put them to good use this holiday!!

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One of the bubbling pools

At ZORB we decided to take the plunge and have a go at Zydro. This means we both crawled into a massive ball filled with water, and got pushed down a big hill, with us both sloshing around in the bottom. We were wet anyway so we figured we’d go for it.

After safely negotiating the Zydro!

After safely negotiating the Zydro!

Luckily the water in the ball was warm, and it was great fun, although Suzanne had a sore throat from yelling and Rich had sore ears from listen to Suzanne yelling and screaming!!!!

After a quick snack at Fat Dog Cafe, and a quick walk around another Geothermal area near the lake, we headed back to the hotel to be picked up for our ending excursion at the Mitai Maori Village. On arrival we were given our table number and the organiser introduced himself and found out how many different countries were represented.  21 in total, he then asked if anyone was here in NZ for their honeymoon this left 4 couples standing including us!

The organiser then, from the 4 couples, chose Rich to be the Chief to represent the 21 nations, or tribes as we were known that night.

This was a very serious role where Rich as our Chief had to meet the Maori Chief on the stage, give a short speech introducing his tribes, the 21 countries, and perform a Maori greeting, which involved the touching of noses twice!!! The good thing was we both got seats right at the front, so had a great view, and could see everything.

The Mauri's arriving in their boats

The Maori’s arriving in their boats

Me, Rich, on stage waiting for the offering and the greeting

Me, Rich, on stage waiting for the offering and the greeting

Collecting the feather, the peace offering made by the tribe.

Collecting the feather, the peace offering made by the tribe.

Me giving my speech to the Leader of the Tribe

Me giving my speech to the Leader of the Tribe

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

Shots of the Hakka.

After the formalities we were told all about the Maori culture, including how they fought and the rituals they went through, with some very exuberant singing and dancing including a full length version of the Haka. After this, we headed back for dinner, or Hangi as they called it.

This is a unique way of cooking, where the food is placed in holes in the ground, where they cook for a few hours using just the heat generated from the ground, which is hot due to the Geothermal activity going on. We were given a demonstration of this when we first arrived…..

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The Hangi being cooked

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Ready to eat..yum

Finally, just as night fell at about 9pm, we were taken on a tour through the woods (in case anyone is wondering, it was still raining!!!) to learn a bit more about how the built their houses from different trees, and finally to a small lake surrounded by Glow Worms, a cool sight.

It was then back on the coaches, back to the hotel for much needed sleeps.

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