One of the most active thermal areas in New Zealand is the city of Rotorua and that was my next stop where i’ve been for the past week. It’s also a very important area for the Maori population which means not only can you visit the thermal areas but you get to experience a little Maori culture too.
First stop was the Kuirau Park, which is a free thermal area and gave a great opportunity to see the center of the earth making its way to the surface through boiling pools of mud and steaming lakes. Then there’s the smell of rotten eggs. For the first day its gets a little annoying, but after that you start to not notice it, although I did have a craving for boiled eggs for the best part of the week!
I also took the opportunity during the week to visit one of the Maori Villages, Te Whakawerawera, which is built over an active thermal area. A guided tour took me round the village and was followed by a performance giving a brief introduction to the culture.
The rest of the week was spent relaxing in a fantastic hostel, Funky Green Voyager. Thanks to everyone I met there, and of course to Yasu for the ‘fish parties’! The most ’successful’ fisherman in New Zealand!
Oh, also did a mad 40km walk in 7hours round the Redwoods. A forest that give great views over the town and also passed by a couple of lakes. I did a small walk round there at the start of the week, and then decided I should do a full day walk they have. It’s a 32km walk thats supposed to take 8 hours, however I did an extra 8km getting to and from the hostel making the 40km in 7 hours. Madness, and I have a slightly bruised ankle from it – doh!