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Rotorua 6th - 9th May

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 9 May 2016 | Views [336]

We left Waitomo at around 8.45 and headed down to Rotorua stopping on the way at Hobbiton, which is the movie set for the shire in Lord of the Rings. The set tour was really good and involved a wander round the hobbit holes and the pub. We got some good photos and then headed back to the hostel - Base Rotorua - for an early night. 
The next morning we had a very relaxed morning where Katie, Amy and I went Luging and Becki hung around Rotorua. The luge trip also included a trip up the hill in a gondola (which was fantastic as the views were lovely) and a few trips up on the chair lift which I've never used before. Honestly I wasn't that keen on the chairlift at first, found it a bit scary, but after the third time I found it ok. 
The afternoon included a trip to the hot pools Polynesian Spa which is heated naturally by geothermal activity. It was similar to the one we went to in Budapest but with nicer views out to the lakes and more of an eggy smell. Because Rotorua has a lot of hot pools there is a lot of sulphur in the air, so a lot of the town smells quite eggy. You do kind of get used to the smell, but when you get nearer to some pools the smell is a lot more noticeable. 
The last day we spent the morning doing a bit of shopping (I needed a warm winter hat) and having a wander around the lakes, at the hot pools and at the mud pools. 
In the afternoon we went to Tamaki Maori Village where we were spending the night. From about 3 until 7 our guide taught us some Maori songs and games (originally used to train for battle) and told us about some maori traditions. After that we were given a formal welcome, shown around the village and we watched a show which included performance of songs and dances and the haka. After that we were treated to an all you can eat Hangi dinner, which is cooked using an earth oven and was pretty delicious. 
After dinner we spent some time with the guide discussing how Maoris have adapted to westernised life and it was all very interesting. We finished off the evening relaxing in a hot tub and sleeping on one of the best beds in the last 4 months. 
All in all it was a really fantastic experience and we all really enjoyed it, I'd say its one of the best things we've done in New Zealand so far for sure. Next up is Taupo! 


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