Rotorua. We made it. Home to mud pools, volcanoes and the Maori villages.
Seeing a traditional Maori Haka was something I had been looking forward to. We asked around as there are many options and it was suggested we visit the Tamaki Maori Village. This was so amazing and such an experience. This village isn’t home to traditional Maori families anymore however is kept in the same conditions and is run by the ancestors that inhabited this incredible area. Located in the middle of a forest 20 minutes out of Rotorua it is so picturesque and beautiful. We were welcomed with a traditional welcoming, quite intimidating and then welcomed with open arms into the village after deciding wether we were for good or bad. There were little stations, where we were taught about aspects of their lives, such as weaving, song and dance and the ways of their tattoos. They gave us a show, with beautiful singing, the Haka and a love story told through dance. We then were seated for a Hangi buffet style feast including dessert followed by a closing ceremony. This was a wonderful evening and really taught me a lot about the culture and history of New Zealand. Worth checking out for sure!
‘I Sites’ are awesome for information on accommodation, things to see, prices and bookings! We spent heaps of time in these and was worth finding to then easily navigate and plan the day. Rotorua is quite a large city, filled with tourists and locals. It’s located on a lake and surrounded with beautiful forests and geo-thermal action.
We spent today visiting the Red Woods. An hour walk through there was stunning, with rainforest, huge red wood trees and all in all a fun time. We then headed out to the Lakes, 30 minutes from the town. We found the Blue Lake, and am I glad we did! It’s amazing. Clear, blue fresh water, surrounded by mountains and more rainforest. The bathers came out and we weren’t going to pass up a dip in this beauty!
^^^ All this occurred before the best thing of the day!^^^
Rotorua Rafting is probably the most fun thing I’ve done to date. The bus collected us and about a 40 minute drive out of town we arrived to collect our boots, helmets and life jackets. We jumped on another bus and 5 minutes later arrived at the stunning Kaituna River. We got in groups, mine consisting of four Aussies and two Kiwis. Probably the best group and our rafting instructor, Jack. Shout out to Jack for being such a fun sport! We rafted a few rapids, a few smallish waterfalls and then bingo! The part I had been so excited for, the seven meter waterfall known as the Kaituna Waterfall. We paddled for it, got down, braced ourselves and literally just fell over this fall. Without letting go, I lost my stomach, plummeted down this beast, got completely water logged under the fall and popped back up in the space of about 5 seconds. THE MOST FUN EVER!!! We lost a team mate but was reunited in no time with many high fives and huge smiles! During our raft we also had opportunities to jump of cliff ledges, swim down rapids and just enjoy the beautiful warm water. WHEN IN NZ DO THIS! You won’t regret it. Thank you so much to the team at Rotorua Rafting for making the a trip highlight.
Rotorua actually has so much to offer and something for everyone! I could’ve stayed longer and explored more but have left satisfied and willing to get on the road and see what else New Zealand has to offer!