Back to stinky Rotorua... can't get enough!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2007
Trip End Jan 11, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Saturday, November 10, 2007

Upon arrival in Auckland, i went through some mixed feelings. There was no immense excitement this time, only a small sense of being home... I'm getting confused! Not to mention the fact that I knew familiar faces would be waiting for me... if I could find them in the crowd! Well, after some waiting to get through customs, and a speedy luggage pickup, I made it through the baggage xray checkpoint unscathed this time. And lo and behold, a big wave and there they were! Ready to take a photo of my tan at it's finest.

After the smart decision to purchase a road map, we were on our way. Sweet, no Auckland this time! 3 hours later (including a stop in Paeroa, to take a pic with (one of!) the giant L&P bottles and to have a drink ourselves, we found ourselves in Tauranga. After much discussion, we decided it was a must for Melissa and Colin to try some Hell Pizza. I kicked some butt in cards and got some photo uploading before snuggling up.. in my very own bedroom! Pure luxury!!

I guest blogged for Melissa and Colin today, so though this is written differently than normal, I thought I would chuck it in anyways!

After getting ready all bright and early (oh wait, that was only Shawna who was ready on time!) we set off from Tauranga to head across the harbour into the cute Oceanside town of Mount Maunganui. After taking in some views of the actual "Mount", which is situated on the end of a peninsula that is the town of Mount Maunganui, we found ourselves a sweet parking spot at the end of the row.

After a fab brunch at a café called "Beaches", (where Shawna successfully confused another Barista with her order for a flat white with the shots of espresso on top... say what??), we took a walk in the sand which included some rock climbing (even more so for Colin who wanted to investigate a lighthouse out on a rock), and searching for some bling in the sand in the form of seashell rings. Shawna is such a trendsetter I tell you!

Now, you may have wondered why I would mention a parking spot. Minor details, you say. Well, after our Oceanside wander, Melissa and Shawna headed back to the car to be horrified to see a pretty big dent in the side of it. After a short while which included some panicking, and wondering whether the rental company should be called, Colin arrived. After a careful inspection, the verdict: "This isn't our car!" Oops, turns out another red hatchback found a sweet spot at the end of a row as well!

That weight off our shoulders, we headed straight for Rotorua, where we were welcomed by the lovely scent of sulpher. We checked into a lush hotel, complete with views of Lake Rotorua and the Polynesian Spa. A quick call, and we were booked into an evening of cultural entertainment, Maori style. This was put on by Tamaki tours, which included a challenge, a wander around the fortified village, an excellent concert and dances in the traditional Maori style, ending with a delicious hangi (earth oven) style feast complete with dessert. Yum! The definite highlight of the evening was when Colin stepped up to be the chief of our bus. A real man! Unfortunately, he was not chosen in the end as the head chief from the three buses, but was presented with a parting memento to always remember his courage!

Once the evening was over, back to the hotel. While Melissa and Shawna chilled out, Colin decided to head to the spa for a thermal soak. A relaxing end to the day!

Well, there you have. I'm working on Colin to write the next one!

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