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Rotorua or ‘stinkvilla’

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 4 February 2008 | Views [604]

Well we were warned, but bl**dy hell this place just stinks!!!!!!!!

Don’t worry; it’s not the state of the city that makes it smell so bad; it’s the massive amount of Thermal activity that is present here.  This is the first non BBH Hostel that we have stayed in, and it shows; the Hostel isn’t that bad but is more like a ‘DIY Hotel’ than the smaller ‘owner run’ places we have chosen from the BBH Hostel book throughout our trip.  Picture a large Hotel that you cook and clean for yourself and that you share the facilities with the others on your floor; BUT it was really well set up and we never had to wait for anything.  We had heard on the grapevine that there was ‘hot’ river about 25 k South of Rotorua, this we had to see; a ‘steaming hot’ river?  We found the turn off (no thanks to Lonely Planet book, which has got all the distances and names wrong) headed down to the end of the road to join the ‘army’ of backpackers who couldn’t afford to pay the entry fees charged by the commercial hot pools; heading down the very short walk along the ‘hot’ river to the ‘spot’.  The ‘spot’ is the nickname for the small waterfall on this river, and yes it was HOT; and yes that is STEAM in the photo’s.  This country just doesn’t stop springing surprises on you, there was in front of us; a HOT STEAMING RIVER.  We headed into the River with caution, looking at how red everyone was who were getting out we thought it was needed; we were right!  Imagine this, taking the hottest shower you could stand too; BUT taking down the river under a waterfall!  Both Em & I left the River feeling so refreshed, the large number of small stones and the sand that is washed down has a great effect on your skin; you come out of the River so Red, relaxed and your skin is so smooth that you wish you had this at the bottom of your road like some of these Kiwis do (luck buggers)  The next day we headed out to look at the ‘Swoop’ a large bungee swing that your strapped into with what looks like a sleeping bag; your then winched up to 40 mtr’s and you pull the release to let you swing at around 130 kph.  Although looking at the photos you may say otherwise, it was great fun.  We were winched up and Em was ready to pull the release, on the countdown from the crew below Em asked if I was ready; even before I could say a thing the toggle was pulled and we were heading down.  After the thrill of this swing and we were waiting for the photo’s I pointed out to Em a fact that I think she had forgotten in all the excitement, what’s the point of asking a question if your not going to wait for the answer; next time I pull the release and see if she likes it J  On our way out to the Swoop we had seen a sign ‘See the Kiwis at Rainbow Springs’  Em insisted that we visit them on our return trip, we knew that the chances of us seeing a living Kiwi in the wild was remote to say the least; so a visit to see the breeding program at Rainbow Springs was the next best thing.  There is a fact that sums up the danger, and the work that they are putting into breeding Kiwis here and all over NZ.

Fact – over a 3 week period, a dog that was allowed to enter a Kiwi zone (totally illegal here in NZ) killed 500 tagged Kiwis; it had taken the Rainbow Springs project 12 YEARS to raise and release that many into the wild.

To see these little things walking around and digging for dinner is just amazing (there’s that word again)  Lucky for me that my camera has a program for low light, so I can assure you that I used no flash to get any photos; but sorry no cameras or anything that made a noise was allowed into the ‘hatching area’ Em even had to take her Flip Flop shoes off as they make too much noise for the newly hatched chicks.  They are something else, and if you every get NZ please go and see them; not only are they really ‘cute’ but all the monies go to this very worth while program.

Tags: Sightseeing


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