Rotorua

After another abortive attempt to go jet boating Tuesday morning, we gave up on Taupo and headed for Rotorua as the Rough Guide suggested there were a greater number of rainy day activities there and the forcast was no improvement in the weather until Friday. 🙁

On the way we stopped at the ‘Buried Village’, an excavation of Victorian and Maori village buried in a huge volcanic eruption in 1886. The village itself was fairly uninspiring, but the associated museum gave some interesting insights into 19th century New Zealand and Victorian tourism (the buried village was a tourist hot spot in 1886 as people came to visit some beautiful volcanic rock formations called the Pink and White Terraces).

Tuesday afternoon we also managed to locate some adventure activities that did run in the rain, namely the excellent ‘zorbing’, although perhaps more descriptively described as a ‘hamster-in-a-ball simulator’! The idea is that you get strapped into a large transparent ball which a nice Kiwi then pushes off a very steep hill… Lots of fun! 🙂 There was also some jet-boating here, albeit a small three-man boat on a man-made course instead of past beautiful river bank and canyon scenery, but it was still fun.

The evening saw us partaking in a Maori Cultural Experience. We were welcomed using a traditional ceremony, involving lots of posturing by scary looking warriors to ensure our intentions were peaceful, then given a fascinating overview of Maori singing, dancing, weapons, body-art and cooking–the highlight of my evening, as always. 🙂