The Lake House

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End Jul 05, 2013

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Where I stayed
Bach on Lake Tarawera
What I did
Rotorua Museum
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hello again. I'm back from my weekend adventures and stuck inside due to rain, so I figured it was about time to write. 
This weekend we (Tim, Gloria, Niko, Niko's friend Josh, and I) went south to Rotorua. It was about a three hour drive from Auckland, so I got to see a lot of scenery on the way. Driving in NZ is quite different from Wisconsin. Beside driving on the left side of the road, the roads and views are totally different. We spent most of the time on what appear to be back country roads and were rarely on any highways. The roads are quite twisty and very hilly as well, and I'll admit to getting a bit car sick after a couple hours on those hills. The scenery makes up for the car sickness, though. It's a beautiful site. There are so many grassy hills and forests, just the drive is an attraction in itself.
Anyway, we arrived at the bach (a family friend's) Thursday evening. Did I mention it's on a lake? So, of course, there were gorgeous views from the house and the view from my room was right onto the lake. At one end of the lake is a volcano that last erupted in 1886 and completely covered the surrounding area. It was quite devastating and there are a lot of memorials and historical markers in remembrance. 
On a happier note, I went into town on Friday. Gloria dropped me off in the morning and I spent the day wandering around Rotorua, which is mostly shops. I window-shopped for a couple of hours and managed to find my way to the Rotorua Museum. It was quite large and was filled with information of the history of Rotorua, the Maori people, and other interesting areas nearby. I spent a few hours in there and by the end of the day, my feet were pretty sore! That night, we went to the Polynesian Spa, which is a geothermal hot pool. Side note - the entire town smells like sulfur because of the huge amount of geothermal activity. The pools are naturally heated and it was very relaxing after the long day of walking. Dylan and Finn (Tim's kids) came that night as well, so we had a pretty full house during the weekend.
Saturday morning, we all went into town for the market. It was relatively small in comparison to some of the other ones I've been too, but it was still nice. I was even able to get some kettle corn (sorry mom, didn't save any for you)! After the market, we walked around a bit and saw some of the hot pools and hot mud pools in town. These are so hot that you can't even go in them. They are bubbling and you can see the steam coming off of them; It's quite a site. Most of them were pretty small, but we did see a few that were the size of ponds. 
It started to rain in the afternoon, so we spent the rest of the day inside playing cards and reading. We left early Sunday morning in order to get back in time for Niko's tennis tournament (which got canceled on account of the rain). It rained for most of the day, which forced me to work on my homework. Sunday night I went to a night market, which was amazing. It was mostly food vendors and everything smelled so good! I bought some churros that are very popular at that market and spent the rest of the time wishing I hadn't eaten before going. Next time I go, I'll definitely eat dinner there.
It's been raining here most of the week, unfortunately. I think this is the weather everyone in NZ always talks about having. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to walk 15 minutes to and from the bus station everyday. Luckily, my Walmart umbrella is holding up well! Can't wait to get back to summer weather in Wisconsin! (57 days left)
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