Trip to Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti

Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Friday, November 26, 2010

Since our visit to Rotorua in 2008, Lucy was determined that she was going to go zorbing for her eighth birthday.  Why her eighth birthday?  She wanted Dan to be old enough to do it too, thanks for being such a thoughtful big sister Lucy :-)

Jeff was already down in Rotorua at a conference with work, so the remaining Parkys headed down with a heavily loaded car, straight after work on Friday.  It seemed quite an adventure for me, having a good long drive ahead of us, it has been a while since I have driven for so long!

Getting out of Auckland was a minor problem, roadworks, lanes disappearing before my very eyes!  The highway became a carpark for a short period of time.  However, our patience paid off, and before very long we were on our way, with the open countryside before us.  I think that I have said this before, I love Titirangi very much, and find the Waitakeres such a special place to be, but sometimes the trees can become very obtrusive and seem to close in on you.  It is such a refreshing change leaving the rainforest behind and the rolling grass countryside unfolding in front of you.  Wide open spaces with cattle and sheep roaming, roads flat and straight, rather than the winding slopes that surround our home.

After a rest stop in Matamata we trundled into Rotorua to collect Jeff from his hotel.  Poor Jeff had been wandering the streets of Rotorua since the early morning, as the conference was over and everyone had left.  He walked and walked, taking in the sights of Rotorua and the Polynesian Hotpools waiting for us to arrive. 

After picking him up we headed off towards Lake Rotoiti in the darkness.  After driving down a dusty track for several kilometres we arrived at the bach, hidden amongst the trees.  Luckily we had a torch with us, as getting into the property and getting the power on proved to be a little interesting!

The following morning we awoke to glorious sunshine and an amazing view of the lake from the deck at the back of the house.  After a leisurely breakfast basking in the sunshine we took the short walk down the drive to the water's edge.  The bach came with kayaks, so Lucy and Dan were quick to don the life jackets and get out into the water.  Dan was complete with a bread bag over his arm due to him breaking his wrist at school the previous week, falling out of a tree!

After speaking to one of the neighbours we headed out further around the lake to a little hot spot beach.  Sitting on the lake side you could dig your toes down into the sand and the water became hotter and hotter. 

The rest of the day was spent closer to the bach, in the sheltered waters.  Dan played boats, while Lucy swam, while Mummy and Daddy relaxed.  The day was glorious wall to wall sunshine, white sand and crystal clear waters..............heaven :-)

Late afternoon we headed into Rotorua for a change of scenery, for a wander around Lake Rotorua, for icecream and birthday dinner at Fat Dogs - a funky cafe in downtown Rotorua who make fabulous wedges and cakes! 

Once back at the bach we headed for the beach again with armfuls of logs and twigs and lit a bonfire.  We lay back chilled out on our picnic blankets and watched the sunset drinking wine - a fabulous setting if just a few too many mosquitoes!

Sunday morning greeted us once again with amazing weather - blue skies with not a cloud to be seen - the sun glistening on the surface of the lake, the gentle hum of a boat dragging a doughnut in the distance.  Lucy was keen to get back down to the water and to kayak before we had to head off into Rotorua to zorb.  We had an amazing time staying here and will definately return in the near future.

Once the house was cleaned and the car was packed we headed back along Lake Rotorua to the Agrodome area of town to zorb.  Lucy was so excited, she has been planning this event for over two years!

We were unsure as to whether Dan would be allowed to zorb, and whether it was responsible even considering it with a newly broken wrist.  However, after discussion with the management, they couldn't see that it would be a problem, Dan was keen to have a go, so we went with the flow. 

To cut a long story short, both children had a ball, literally :-)  They both confidently leapt into the zorb and tumbled down the hill, slopping around in the water.  You could hear them squealing with delight as the ball bounced along.  Once at the bottom, they both skipped happily back to the viewing decking, enthusiastic and keen to do it again.  Lucy ended up having three more goes, each time becoming more and more confident and more and more excited.  We decided that once was enough for Dan and he was happy to go along with that.  He was content with the fact that he had experienced it once wanting to return for his eighth birthday too!

Afterwards we headed for the other activities at the Agrodome as we had GrabOne vouchers for Swoop.  A large swing that winches you nearly 50m up in the air.  You pull a toggle then freefall for about 10m before going into a giant swing.  A great adrenalin rush for Jeff and I, while the kids sat on the bank, giggling and taking photos of Mum and Dad screaming and laughing their heads off.  This is definately worth a go if you are ever in the Rotorua area.

What a weekend, packed full of fun.  We can't wait to do it again :-)

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