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My lovely week in smelly Rotorua :)

Step sisters reunite :)

Hi folks,
It's true Rotorua has a certain smell to it, to be honest I thought it would hit me as soon as I got off the bus but I could smell it slightly but it wasn't pungent. Following meeting Tasha, we met my friends and went for a wander round the lake, in search for these hot pools. As you got nearer the lake the smell got more offensive, it had an eggy undertone but it's an unusual smell put it that way :-/ once we got to the hot pools you could literally hear them bubbling and see the steam rise from them. It was thick muddy water, you couldn't put your feet in them as it was too hot, but don't think anyone would desire too. The offensive smell is due to the sulphar dioxide gas created by the geothermal activity. We took the token tourist pictures of the pools, until we could handle the smell no more, haha :) The lake itself I found quite creepy, due to the heat of the pools (I guess) it was surrounding by what look like dead trees and had little muddy island in the lake that were covered in birds and there were lots of geese that kept honking.... for those who know me well that alone freaked me out! We then explored more of the city, the museum is a beautiful building, much reminded me of a building you would find in somewhere like Prague, it's set in beautiful gardens, very picturesque :) The following day we went just outside of Rotorua in search for hot pools you could sit it, Gav (Tash's fella) fortunately can drive so drove us girls to the lesser known hidden hot pools, they were in the middle of a forest, down a beaten track. The weather again was boiling and the water temperature was hot, bath hot again! It had a tiny mini waterfall and was lovely to bathe in, we went around 11am and only stayed till 1pm as it was sweltering heat, you would lay in sun to dry off and you were sweating in minutes, but you couldn't cool off in lake as it was just as hot, fortunately we were surrounded by trees and could seek out shade. That afternoon me and my two English friends, went white water rafting on river Kaituna. It was so much fun! They go through safety procedures to start with, which made you really nervous (esp as I'm not the best swimmer and they told us the river had eels the size of your legs, so I was worried about falling out) but once in the rapids it was brilliant! I laughed a lot. We had to go down waterfalls, the tallest being 7ft tall and is highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world! It was so scary and I nearly fell out but fortunately hung on, the photos are hilarious as you can see me almost popping out of raft on way down :) The guide also made us do little games and we all ended up heads under waterfalls etc, but no one fell out, how I'm not sure. We were the last boat of the afternoon so it was just our raft on river which gave us an advantage as the river was ours :) That evening Tash and Gav made us all a BBQ and we chilled, chatted and drank! Lovely day :) My third day here, Tash and I became proper tourists, in the morning we went to Rotorua museum (mentioned the building previously) it's in the gorgeous Bath House, which is set in the beautiful government gardens. Previously this building was a famous spa, the left side of the building had honoured this and you could visit the different therapy rooms and which had the different baths etc in them (what was left of them). The right side of the museum was dedicated to maori culture and had old wooden carvings etc, so interesting and made you appreciate kiwi culture. The museum also allowed you go to basement and view old original pipes and secret rooms of spa, had very low ceilings, poor Tash had to duck, I was fine (short arse) and allowed you to go to the rooftop which gave you fantastic views of Rotorua. That afternoon we all went to Paradise Valley Spings, which is a wildlife park and trout spring. When we arrived they were feeding the lions so I got some great pictures of the lions, 3 females and 1 male, later in the day they were sleeping so this was brilliant time to arrive and see them active. We then went to pat the lion cubs, unfortunately because they were older we had to do it through a metal fence, when they are smaller you get to go in the enclosure with them, but least I can say I patted a lion cub, although Tash's dogs pippy and mutley are cuter :) We then explored the park, you got to feed the animals and I even at a distance chucked food at the ducks but not the goose or turkey that would be me pushing my limits too far. Strangely there was only one sheep in the park as its one of NZ famous animal this surprised me and I thought he was a goat as he had been shaven ... Whoops :) My fourth day in Rotorua was spent on the beach of Mount Maunganui, I lapped up the glorious sunshine, it had a breeze though which cooled you down so lets say I had pinky patches in places that weren't used to the sun by time I got home :) It had massive waves and lots of people were trying to surf, I went in sea once but the waves were so powerful I gave up, Tash and Gav where much braver and swam in it, I observed from my spot on beach. That night the sea breeze had done us and we all chilled. My fifth day was spent having more fun. We took the puppies for a walk round the hamurana spring reserve, which is a river walk in a forest which leads you to a gorgeous spring. The water of the river was so crystal blue and you could drop coins into the spring and make a wish (which of course I did). The dogs loved it, although were very much tired after the 20/25 minute walk (so was Tash ...haha). Then in the afternoon we did a skyline luge down Mount Ngongotaha. You go up the mountain in a gondola, which when at the top had amazing views of the whole of Rotorua, then if you wished you could luge down 3 different purpose built gravity tracks. The luge cart is a 3 wheeled cart and you pull the handles to control it, you go round bends and up and down hills, quite scary on first go when you are not used to the cart but after that you get used to it and gain confidence :) soooo much fun and a great adrenalin rush. You return for your next go by chair lift, we had four go as like the workers tshirts say you can't just do it once :) My sixth and final day was spent chilling in the morning, packing and ensuring I was set and ready to get bus in morning as we went to Okere Falls festival that night to watch live bands, it was run by a German family so we had lots of German beer too :) haven't a clue who bands were but was a good way to end the week. Although ended up going clubbing in Rotorua after the gig so let's just say I defo had felt better this morn. Now in Auckland with my friends again :)
Hope all is well,
Cook xxxxxx

Posted by Renae84 00:57 Archived in New Zealand

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