We started our day out at Paradise Valley, the springs that feed many of the lakes, produce drinking water, and where most of the brown and rainbow trout spawn. I’ve never seen so many fish. There were neat birds, deer, llamas, alpacas, goats, more sheep, and even lions. Probably my favorite animals were the wallabies. I really thought about trying to steal one.
Our next stop was Te Puia, a little attraction with Maori history and stuff. I got to see a kiwi. I didn’t know that they were nocturnal, and that I had no chance of seeing one in the wild, so the one they had there was as close as it gets and I’m calling it a real sighting. Te Puia had many active geysers that we made it just in time for. We hiked around and saw mud bubbling, and yellow dirt and rocks and all that stuff, all the smoke coming out of the ground, you get the idea. MK deleted the mud pictures, sorry folks.
Boxing Day was a big sales day, we went to a store called Rebel Sports to check for sweet deals. The entire store was 25% off and every item was after that about 49% more than I would pay for anything. It was ridiculous. We went next to a Skyline Gondola ride up the highest peak in Rotorua. We had lunch at the top overlooking the town view. MK convinced me to take the luge sleds to get down, which was pretty funny.
As if stopping at Sheepworld wasn’t enough, we got to go to “Agrodome” and see sheep being shorn and doing tricks and sheep dogs and other farm animals and little lambs. Cute. And smelly. You only make $1.50 per sheep as a sheep shearer. No thanks!
All the geothermic activity makes you think one thing, right? Spas. I thought so. So our next stop was the Polynesian Spa. Threw on my suit, jumped in the mineral pool, and…unimpressed. The water was yucky. There were bus loads being dropped off every few minutes, and parts with kids running all around. We found one slightly secluded pool, but still were pretty disappointed, so we ended up cutting that a little short.
After a quick shower to get mineral and stranger water off 😉 , we headed to Mitai. We walked through the land of the Maori tribe to the village they had created where they performed a great singing and dancing show. They also showed us traditional fights and games, training exercises and tools. We then were ushered to a great tent for our hangai, the traditional feast. They dig a big pit and cook everything all day. We had kumera (sweet potato) chicken, lamb, stuffing, salad, and potatoes. After tea and dessert, we walked back in to the forest to see the eels and trout in the water, and yes, the GLOW WORMS in the forest.
I have been slightly obsessed with glow worms ever since the first one I got when my little brother was born, letting me know that everyone liked me better. So when I found out that there is some worm that glows in it’s larval stage, I really wanted to see that. Didn’t know they were real…But the thing was there all in these dark wet nasty caves in the middle of no where that cost a ton of money to get to. I got to see them for free. Stickin’ it to the man, woo hoo. That pretty much made my night. Unfortunately, I can’t share that with you because the pictures didn’t come out, so ha ha, I got to see them and you didn’t…
I’m so mean 🙂