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Anna's Amazing Adventures

Rocking in Rotorua

USA | Friday, 5 December 2014 | Views [435]

My time in Rotorua is brief, but I'm trying to make the most of it. The city is about middle of the north island and a little right of center. It's known for its adventure activities and geothermal spas. If you've ever been around a city like this, you know what I mean when I say it reeks. Like sulfur and rotten eggs. I didn't smell it until I went out to dinner. It's only bad when the wind picks up. After I got into the hotel, which is lovely and the owners are wonderful, I quickly changed for my zip lining tour. I'm terrified of heights, but this tour had a great rating on trip advisor and was a neat way to see the rain forests native to this area. My group included 4 Norwegians and 1 Swede, which was nice to talk to them about their homes and how they ended up in New Zealand. The first line we went down, I was terrified. But the more we went down, the better I got. One line I went down doing the Carlton, one I went down making t-Rex arms and noises and the longest zip at a whomping 220 meters, I video taped!p it! Our guides Joe and Richard were hilarious and had great senses of humor. They loved Dino's, hence the t-Rex zip, and made everybody do a 'dad dance' but I did the Carlton instead. They also thought it would be funny to throw a rock and scream RAT! To which I screamed and jumped....everyone laughed. I laughed. It was funny. Not only was this trip a zip tour it also uses our fee to help with the conservation efforts of rebuilding the forests and the animal populations of the area. Fun fact: the three main predators of the kiwi and birds of New Zealand are possums, slots (ferrets), and rats. They actually have traps in the forest to catch these menaces and since they began trapping, the bird population has increased tenfold. It was pretty neat to see what they were doing and how our money helped their cause. 

Before heading to Wellington, I went zorbing...which is the human hamster ball looking things. If you ever get the option to do it, do the wet ones, they have better options. Unfortunately I had just straightened my hair and was not about to get this luscious mane wet, so I did the dry run. It was weird and fast, but fun. Afterwards, I went to skyline luge. This was recommended to me by the sole New Zealander soccer player on the Red Stars. She was adamant that I do it. And boy I'm glad I did. It was like real life Mario kart. There were crashes, bumping and a few spin outs, which was hysterical to watch, and mildly traumatizing when involved. I actually ran into my Contiki group there as well! After having lunch with them, I hit the road to Wellington. Minus not being able to find the gas pump opener and the attendant taking pity on you, it was an uneventful 6 hour drive. Although the views were to die for, especially Lake Taupo. If I had more time I would have hiked around the lake, but I was on a deadline, so I settled for a few pictures. Everything down here is so green, it makes the Pacific Northwest look pathetic. And the hills....well they got worse, but I'm getting better at navigating them. Still haven't hit or maimed anyone driving yet, so bonus! Currently doing some much needed laundry and catching up on my internet browsing with my glorious, unlimited, wifi! 
New Zealand slang and pronunciations: 
KiaOra- key-aura, means hello/welcome 
Sweet As- sweetiz, means alright? Can be a question and an answer.
Tomato Sauce= ketchup
Wha= and F sound
Maori- morry/Maury, these are the native people of New Zealand who came to the islands about 800 years ago, roughly 1350. 

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