RTW – week 30 (Rotorua)

We said a very sad good-bye to South Island and boarded our next flight up to North Island. We have two short exchanges here, one in Rotorua and one on the beach in Ohope. Although I am not loving the idea of moving around every few days, I am thankful that we will get to see as much of North Island as we can – but to be honest, we are feeling rather tired! (maybe it has to do with walking non stop in South Island? Not too sure!)

As with most of our exchanges, I had no information on the home itself. It was a real juggling act lining up non stop exchanges this trip, so the prerequisites were: can I drive to it after my flight (we typically drive 3-4 hours each time, sorry Bryan), and does it have enough beds to sleep us (sometimes that isn’t even a deal  breaker as I am currently writing this in my studio apartment with ONE BED). But those are my only requirements, that’s it!

So with our North Island homes, we had literally no info. Just an address, that’s it. So imagine my surprise when we arrived to THIS!

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Gorgeous.

Half the fun of the trip has been showing up at our houses and being like “I wonder what they look like?!” haha, it has always been a fun way to end a rather hard travel day.

We even have SHEEP! The kids have named them all, fed them and declared their love and desire for owning a farm.

So if you are looking for us… We are right here in this hot tub enjoying the view.

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Rotorua is set right in the heart of North Island and is famous for it’s geothermal qualities as well as a real living Maori tribe.

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What does geothermal mean? It means it’s S T I N K Y! The sulphur steam that comes up smells like rotten eggs, something that Hunter, Bryan, and I are well accustomed to from the Azores, but the girls on the other hand – they walked around plugging their nose the entire time.

We were invited to visit the Maori village which was a super fun hands on experience. It was awesome watching them dance and sing the Haka.

The whole bulging eyes and tongue thing was to hype themselves up before battle and scare off the enemy. We tried this obviously with little to no success. Pretty sure we all looked like a bunch of crazy people walking around practising this.

Everyday the locals open up their village to tourists for tours and show them how they harness the power of the geothermal for cooking, bathing and heating. They cook their corn right in the sulphur pools which is actually delicious – even for this corn critic!

We were able to see the Pohutu geyser that shoots upwards to 100 feet and walk through the trails of mud pools and more stink.. I mean hot springs. Did I mention that there were loads of cats?

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If you do visit Rotorua though, I highly recommend going here!!

After we acclimatized to the stink, we set out to find a hot spring we could actually soak in, and I was dead set on finding some free ones (which is nearly impossible). We arrived at Kerosene Creek in a torrential downpour, which seems to be a common weather trend here, and since we weren’t about to make the 45 minute drive back without seeing it, off we went in the rain.

The stream travels through the jungle and over a few waterfalls making for an enjoyable soak. It is quite the experience, as soon as you get over the colour of the water (a dark orange due to iron in the water – keep your hair up ladies – I sported orange hair for months after the Azores). We didn’t stay long as getting in and out of the muddy, slippery pools is a job in itself, but we checked it off the list and drove home immediately for popcorn and a chlorinated hot tub!

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