Geysers, Hakas and Mountain Bikes

Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
Trip End Aug 24, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hi All,

Last time we spoke we'd just arrived in Rotorua and had lots planned for the next day, and how busy it was!

We got up bright and early and headed to the Te Puia thermal park. As it wasn’t busy, they gave us entry to the traditional Maori concert for free. There was loads of singing and the men pulled some extremely funny faces (we were banned from laughing though, out of respect, or summat). I also got dragged up on stage to try and learn the haka. As you can imagine, with my love of dancing, I threw myself into this and loved every second of it. I really didn’t feel awkward at all.

Next, we had a guided tour of the geysers and mud pools. It was like walking round the surface of another planet, with all the steam seeping from the rocks and the yellow sulphur deposits left by the geysers. There were also loads of mud pools oozing and bubbling.

Next, onto mountain biking. We headed to the Whakarewarewa Forest where we hired some very fancy mountain bikes. The woman with the bikes was possibly one of the strangest people I’ve ever met. She would say something and we would laugh politely and the she would say, 'Am I funny?’ and look at us like she wanted us to compare her to bloody Michael McIntyre or something…vely strange.

We headed into the forest, which is covered in loads of mountain biking tracks. The mountain biking was not a great success and both Amy and I had done the impossible and forgotten how to ride a bike. I enjoyed it, but Amy really didn’t. She managed to put on a brave face when we returned the bikes and told them she loved it!

Next, onto the Tamaki Maori Village for a ‘cultural evening’. We arrived at the village and were entertained by the people dressed in traditional dress and face tattoos. We also got another concert with traditional songs and then onto the ‘hangi’, which is a meal where all the food has been cooked in the ground. It was epic, and you almost couldn’t taste the soil aswell!

Speak soon,

Amy and Nick
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