We went to the Wairakei Terraces in the evening for a Maori cultural experience and to take part in a Hangi (food cooked in the ground using hot stones). Our guide for the evening, Kylie (not Minogue!) held up a Maori stick and scanned the room with it. One of the group, Roger, was selected to be our Chief for the evening. This meant he would meet with the Maori Chief and walk first as we toured the Terraces. We then went out to meet the tribe who would be entertaining us. Their Chief came out from the trees and put a feather on the floor for Chief to collect
- Roger slowly edged forward to collect the gift, careful not to turn his back on the warrior and to maintain eye contact. We then followed the Maori Chief to meet the rest of his tribe
and in turn, each of us rubbed noses twice with each tribe member.
. Once we had done this and officially been accepted into the village by the tribe we all had a quick rub of the Maori totem pole for good luck!
Kylie then took us around the village, previously a naturally thermal generated area, but had lacked umph since the energy company across the road moved in, so they had to rebuild the area making in resemble its former self, with the geyser only going off for a short time each morning so as not to interfere with the energy company´s power levels....hhmph! bit sad. Kylie took us round some Maori huts, where Maori games, crafts and day to day activities were being acted out.
We snuck past this Maori sculpture which was supposedly keeping an eye out for the tribe´s welfare.
We then tucked in to our Hungi meal which consisted of chicken, pork, beef, a delicious dumpling stuffing type thing with veg - ALL GOOD STODGE! Post dinner came some Maori entertainment, lots of dancing
and of course, the Haka!!
The next day we came back to see what we´d been looking at in daylight.
Lots of Maori carvings and even a wood carving workshop out back.
Our final day in Taupo before heading out to Rotorua we visited ´Craters of the Moon´, an thermal area with steaming cracks and crevaces!!
Lots of warnings up to not get too close....ouch hot, hot, hot!!
Don´t end up like this tree!!
Quite good but lacked some good ole bubbling mud!
The journey to Taupo spelt rain and more rain, but as we were in sight of the great Lake, the sun began to shine and did so for the rest of the day; infact a night's sleep without rain falling on the van roof was quite disorientating!!