. We've hired a car, which includes insurance cover, will cost us $65 for the day which isn't too bad. And it means we can see everything. We're picking it up at 8.30am tomorrow morning, then have until the following morning to drop it back. Fran will be driving. First time since she passed her test nearly a year ago......It's safe to say we're probably both as nervous as eachother!! This afternoon we headed out for a nice walk around a small part of Rotorua Lake. The first part of the lake where we joined it, is surrounded by hot sulphur areas and pools, and it means it absolutely stinks. In fact, from the moment we arrived, you could smell the surrounding sulphur! The whole city smells of it. Sometimes it's not too bad, but other times the fumes are really strong. After we walked really quickly to get away from the stench we reached a huge clearing where you could see across the lake for miles. It was beautiful, and was full of hundreds and hundreds of birds. We spent a while taking in the surrounding scenery, then headed back to the hostel as the sun went down. We just got back from spending the evening in the local pub. We got given a free drinks voucher when we arrived at the hostel, so thought we'd go warm ourselves up with a couple of drinks whilst sitting under their heaters! We debated going to a Maori entertainment evening, which the hostel guy recommended we go to. We did really want to do it, but the price of $80 each stopped us. There is so much cool stuff to see and do in NZ, but sadly most of it costs a lot of money, and we're having to be really choosy with what we can fit in our rapidly decreasing budget.
We arrived in Rotorua yesterday evening after a 5 hour coach journey from Auckland. When we arrived were headed for the YHA hostel,but on the way, we spotted a different hostel and ended up staying there. The guy who ran it explained that the hostel was really quiet at the moment, so he gave us a pretty good deal on a room. (Still expensive, but for NZ standards not too bad!) He explained what there was to do in the area, so we worked out roughly what we'd spend the next couple of days doing. The weather is quite a bit colder here than it was in Auckland, so we're not loving the fact the bathrooms are outside! This morning we spent exploring Rotorua and did some research into hiring a car for tomorrow. One of the main things to see, is the 'Thermal Wonderland', about a half an hour's drive from Rotorua. There is a daily shuttle that takes people out there, but we also wanted to go to some thermal swimming pools that are nearby. So we decided we would hire a car for the day so we could do both of them, and see them at our own pace