Trip Start Apr 10, 2005
90Trip End Dec 09, 2006
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While here we visited the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland which has the largest area (18sq km) of surface thermal activity (annoying you have to pay to see it) - there are huge collapsed craters, cold and boiling pools of mud, steaming fumaroles and bright coloured sulphur pools. We got there early in order to witness the Lady Knox geyser erupting, supposedly the same time every day (10:15am) - pretty impressive time keeping
Rotorua is also rich in Maori history so we took the opportunity here to learn more about New Zealand's native culture. One thing that is noticeable throughout the country is that the Maori people, although now living in the modern/westernised world are still very passionate and proud of their culture and heritage and keep it very much alive within the modern society. An example some of you might have seen (if you're a rugby fan), the All Blacks perform the Haka, a Maori war dance before all their games in order to intimidate their opponents. We went along to the Mitai village and had the best evening in NZ so far. Set up like a traditional Maori village we were treated to a Maori concert in traditional dress, we learnt about their rituals and beliefs and our favourite was the Hangi, a feast cooked in an earth oven, it actually cooks in the ground enabled by the geothermal activity. We stuffed ourselves with lamb,chicken, beef, potatoes, vegetables - it was nearly as good as my mum's roasts, if only we could have taken a doggy bag back to the van! After dinner we went out in to the forest and saw glow worms lighting up the bushes and trees, they looked like tiny little stars - it was beautiful considering it's their bums glowing! It was a great night all in all, in fact no itinerary in NZ would be complete without a trip to Rotorua - it's truly an amazing place!