I don’t think I’ve spent more than two nights in the same place since I left my workaway in Whangateau. I saw so much because of it though!
Before I permanently (for this trip) left Auckland I visited one of the Lord of the Rings’ sets: Hobbiton. It was amazing! We had a really cool guide who could give us some insight into what had to happen behind the scenes to make this set perfect for the film and looked stunning. I would definitely recommend it to people who watched the films or read the books and like some insider knowledge.
After that is was time to move on. I really wanted to visit Rotorua for the geothermal activity and to learn some more about Maori culture. As soon as I got off the bus, I could smell the sulphur in the air. There seems to be a hot spring or mudpool at every corner of the street and there are geysers just a short drive out of town. At first, I just wanted to go to the supermarket and take a moment to make a plan, but as I stood outside the supermarket with my bananas I saw a path with a sign. It was a route past Sulphur Bay that supposedly only took about forty minutes. Why not?
After that walk, however, I came to a park that also looked interesting. So I walked on.
These turned out to be about the only two places in Rotorua where you could see some geothermal activity for free, it’s an expensive place. The day after I went to one of the Maori villages near Rotorua.
I am not going to try and pronounce that again, even though we had to before our guide took us into the village. She was a lovely woman who grew up there and could tell us a lot about how people live there. The Maori still incorporate as much of their old ways as they can. They still cook in the hot springs for example.
After these two days, I had seen enough of Rotorua. I even took an Aikido class! That wasn’t part of the planning but I saw a flyer at my hostel and thought: why not? My next destination was Napier but I’ll tell you about that the next time.