We started off our first morning in Rotorua with a drive out to Wai-O-Tapu to catch the Lady Knox Geyser erupting. The tour guide added some kind of natural soap powder in to the steaming hole on top and soon after it erupted. Wasn’t massive but very steamy and shooting water all over the place! We then explored the rest of the geothermal park, including the champagne pool which looked really cool. The only bad thing was the smell! Probably the worst smelling place I’ve ever been in my life, couldn’t last much more than an hour around the pools as it was just so eggy!
We jumped back in the car and headed out to the blue & green lakes where we stopped and had our lunch (leftover dominos – YUM). After lunch we drove up to Okere Falls, north of Rotorua. Here we watched some people rafting and kayaking down the waterfalls and rapids, checked out the caves and walked down to Trout Pond at the bottom of the falls.
We spent our evening at Tāmaki Mouri Village which was so interesting and really fun. You get to watch traditional Maori haka dance routines, explore a Maori village and learn about their culture, then eat a traditional Maori feast. Luckily, it was compulsory for all men on the tour to take part in the Haka, so I got to watch Owens take on a fierce warrior face (hilarious.)
For dinner we had a traditional Maori feast which was cooked underground on geothermal rocks. We were then chauffeured back to the hostel by an absolutely mental Maori bus driver called Davey, who proceeded to sing ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ and drive round a roundabout 5 times. So the whole evening was pretty jokes and well worth the money!
Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu
Maori welcome ceremony