Rotorua

Who would have thought Dad would have eaten a Hangi, particpated in a Haka and found himself partially cooked from the sizzling hot mud pools at Rotorua?

Yesterday we took the 1 hour drive from Taupo to Rotorua (leaving early in nthe morning) and after much decision making, ventured off to ‘Hells Edge’ to a delightful, steamy collection of mud pools. The name of the place was  very suitable. The photos don’t capture the heat, sulphuric smell or the overwhelming sight of the bubbling mud. Some of the pools had thick black mud bubbling at 130 degrees. The 2 hour walk was indespersed with a treck through a semi rainforest section. This was a stark contrast to the nuclear like landscape of the sizzling volcanic rocks.

After this hot and exhausting excursion we meandered around Rotorua inspecting old railway lines, rose gardens with killer bees on them and architecture.

Although we were already pretty pooped… we had purchased tickets to go to the Mitai Maori village at 6.15pm so we wearily drove off hoping to sit for a while. We were surprised to find about 200 people in a tent sitting ‘Swagman restaurant’ style. The maori MC was both funny and clever and entertained us for the night with his animated quips.

Expecting to eat tea… we were in for a shock as we were taken to watch a maori tribe arrive down a creek in a canoe in the bush (yes… more bushwalking!). After their arrival we walked to a  ‘stage’ area where we were got to witness and participate in a Haka and were entertained by a semi naked and heavily tatood maori chief, who also had a wicked sense of humour.

At last… we got to EAT and wow the food was delicious. Dad was surprised to realise he was eating roast lamb and chicken with veges and not some kind of ‘weird food’ as he was expecting.
After dinner we went glow worm hunting in the bush. Walking through pitch black forest is quite challenging (glow worms won’t come out if you have the torch on) but we managed to do this without any nasty accidents. At the end of the walk there was a mystical pond with a big black eel swimming around.
We finished up at 9.30 and had a 1 hour drive home to Taupo.

Today is raining (for the first time during the day) so Dad and I plan to relax and re-cuperate. Colin is pretending to relax but so far he hasn’t sat in one spot for more than 30 seconds… Let’s hope he finds a colouring book or something cos we are pooped!

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