Geothermals and Maori Culture
Nov 30, 2011
Feb 26, 2012
Where I stayed
Beach House Opotiki Backpackers
What I did
. Compared to other places in New Zealand the prices appeared lower to me, but also the quality, so I did not buy anything there. Afterwards I went to Whakarewarewa, a living village in the geothermal area. After paying the admission, I walked around this village, where Maori people have their homes, looked into their gardens and their small steam vents, their hangis and their hot pools. I also discovered the nature walks to the geothermal pools and lakes. At 2:00 p.m. a cultural show took place, where the Maori people in their dancing dresses performed dances, a haka, songs and a welcome ceremony. It was very touristic, but it was my first experience of this type in New Zealand, and the performance was of good quality, as far as I could evaluate this. A little later I joined a guided tour through the village, held by a woman, who has grown up in this village. I decided to buy a wooden carved mask and a New Zealand Koru here, as it seems to be appropriate to do my purchase in this surrounding. Already a bit tired of the long day I drove almost 2 hours to the eastern end of the Bay of Plenty, to Opotiki where I checked in at the Beach House. A small, but very nice place to stay for a night with the beach just behind the back garden and the weather seems to improve, I hope this will last during the last days.
As my other roommates left early for the 6:00 a.m. shuttle for the Crossing, I also got up rather early, packed up and drove to Lake Taupo hoping to get fine pictures of the lake and the volcanoes. But the mountains were covered with clouds and so I headed further north to Orakei Korako, a sightseeing spot quite off the beaten track. As expected, no crows there, after a short boat ride across the lake, I started the walk up the beautiful silica terraces and other geothermal spectacles like mud pools, hot springs, geysers, lava caves, burnt trees, etc. The main attractions, the golden vlies and the artists' palette glimmered in the sunshine, and smelled respectively. After this morning portion of sulfur I continued my drive to Rotorua, but made a small detour to the Butchers Pool. A pool filled with hot water settled in private farmland. No one would expect this here just some hundred meters off the main road. I decided not to take a bath, although the water was feeling very pleasant. Around 11:00 a.m. I reached Rotorua, took a short lunch break and checked out some souvenir shops