Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kia ora

Hello, or "g'day"

Day 8: Taupo to Rotorua

Waking up to sunshine, birds chirping, the smell of flowers. Before leaving Taupo we decided to tour it by bike. We were able to rent them for cheap right from our Rainbow Lodge.

Yes - we had to wear the dorky helmets. Safety first.

We passed gardens


fishy grates

But none of things prepared us for the beauty of Taupo Lake, the biggest in the country.

Riding just a small portion of the lake before we detoured to the city for some breakfast.

It was Friday here but Thursday back home, which was Thanksgiving for our family. This waffle topped with ice cream was as close as we were going to get to pumpkin pie a la mode.

back to where we started

Over the thundering Huka Falls and its narrow gorge

Found another honey shop -- The Honey Hive, filled to the brim with anything honey you can imagine. Even honey ice cream.

Not letting a morsel go to waste

Just the perfect day to drive around and stop wherever we wanted. We grew very attached to our little home on wheels.

Craters of the Moon. Viewed under the shifting clouds, the bright sunlight made a natural kaleidoscope over an already otherworldly patch of earth.

Taking my time to fill up my senses in this thermal wonderland

Hauntingly impressive

Popping mud

Made it to Rotorua just in time to catch a bus to dinner and a show at Mitai Village

Basically, the only way to see any Maori culture is to go to a hangi - which is like a luau in Hawaii. And this is the only picture I have of the feast. Matt eating a cracker before the show.

The show was actually very entertaining and informative. There are a few in the area but we heard this one was the best and we were able to book it with a room and a kiwi encounter at Rainbow Springs (nextdoor). I had been dying to finally meet one.

Whale Rider in real life

Tons of chanting/singing

The food being lifted from the ground - it cooks all day long.

The moment you have all been waiting for!!! My kiwi. This is really the best photo we got. I know it's hard to see but if you click on the photo and look right to the right of the rock you can see a little black eye and a long beak, like as long as those blades of grass but not green. They are truly the cutest roundest roly-poly birds ever. We even got separated from our tour, I couldn't bear to leave them. Actually I was so enamored with them I didn't know I got left behind.

This fella (a moa) inspired the movie Up. But back in the day they just knew this great bird could provide a whole lot of meat for the family not knowing they only reproduce every four years.

Our great package deal came with bunkbeds and two roommates. We were rocked to sleep by the sound of a rave going on beneath us. Every hour I woke to turn (which you have to do when sharing a bunkbed) the music and party was still going strong. It wasn't until my last shift of slumber when you can no longer see stars and the sky has turned to periwinkle that I noticed the music finally had stopped.
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 -- more NZ 2010 --
Pre-trip preparation
Day 1: Auckland
Day 2: Orewa to Paihia
Day 3: Paihia to Kaitaia
Day 4: Ninety Mile Beach to Rawene
Day 5: Rawene to Hamilton
Day 6: Hamilton to National Park
Day 7: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Day 8: Taupo to Rotorua
Day 9: Rotorua
Day 10: Thames to Hahei
Day 11: Coromandel

1 comment:

moonshinejunkyard said...

oh beautiful beautiful kiwiland. it is nice to return there again and THANK YOU for taking me...from perfect breathtaking morning lakeside bike ride to haunting geysers in the earth to whale rider feasts and raves. ahhhh, the best of cozy traveling experiences. that last pictures is the feeling of an adventure together, through and through. you two are the cutest traveling companions. i cannot believe how much you fit into your time there. I LOVE IT!!!!