02.03.2014 - 02.03.2014 21 °C
Yesterday evening's reading session about Rotorua (and surroundings) made us aware of the city's attractions and... convinced to stay 1 more night. And we did not regret a bit. On the contrary, just another time we could say "we wish we could stay here longer".
After a breakfast between our camper and the playground (Emilka likes to start the day actively ;-), we drove over to the adjacent church to hear "the Word for Sunday". A few minutes afterwards we were standing beneath the Mt. Ngongotaha where we hopped on the gondola which took us up. From there we were able to see the panoramic view of the city and the lake. But this place offers more attractions than only a lookout point. One of them is adventurous ride with a luge. Before I start to describe this, I'd say you check it on thr net or youtube yourself. I can only say that we enjoyed it very much. (Basically it would have been possible to ride it with Emilia but since she wouldn't really appreciate, we decided to split and when one was riding, the other one would stay up with her).
Happy and smiling, we returned to the parking lot where our daughter once again fell united with another (this time Indian) family and wanted to leave with them (was already climbing up their car!). She found it uncool that she has to stay :-)
On the other side of town a museum called Te Puia. This another must-see/be. A Maori tour guide named Karl Leonard (yes, he has also a Maori name but I don't know the spelling) gave us a passionate and very educative introduction to Maori culture, heritage, traditions and explained about volcanic environment in New Zealand. We saw a 10-15m high geyser (how it ejected water and then how it calmed down) and hot mud pools. This was truly an amazing museum visit which we would recommend to reserve the time for when you're around Rotorua. But of course, the tour guide is Karl!
Again a few minutes drive brought us to Polynesian Spa. Even if nowadays we live in the world of spas and you can buy a multifunctional spa bath tub for your own flat, this one seems to be another special attraction, again connected to the geological environment around. The waters are natural mineral waters sourced "from beneath". Bathing session in differently warm (hot) pools after an active day was a sort of a crowning for us.
Of course again there is more to see: Lake Okareka, Agrodome etc. but we are moving out tomorrow - direction Coromandel Park.
See you there.