Tara's Travels travel blog

Entrance to the Maori Arts and Craft Centre

Boiling Mud - it makes the best noise ever!

Ngarartuatara Cooking Pool - traditionally used to cook food over.

Thermal river near where the geyser goes off

Thermal river

Prince of Wales Feather Geyser

More Boiling mud

Detail from roof of the meeting house

Guys doing the Haka

Maori Performance group

St Faith's Anglican Church

Carving at St Faiths Anglican Church

We're in Rotorua - home of all things volcanic/thermal and also home to a very noticeable smell - sulfur. You get use to it after a while but every now and then it hits you again! Anyway, it's still raining pretty constantly but yesterday it lightened up a bit so Majella and I went to the Maori Arts and Craft Centre which also has a thermal village. We saw lots of cool stuff - my favourite being the boiling bubbling mud - i've taken huge numbers of photos of the mud trying to get the perfect shot - I've only uploaded 2 photos though - think you might get a bit sick of mud after the 30th photo :) We also saw some geysers going off though it was hard to get a good photo because of all the steam. After wandering around the thermal area we went and watched a Maori cultural show. The guys did the haka - and looked very scary with their tounges sticking out. They then explained there traditional weapons and it got a bit descriptive and gorey. The women did some really amazing poi dancing to finish the show off. I was sorry when the show was over!

Today Claire and Majella have gone on a bus tour to see Hobbiton (from Lord of the Rings for those who aren't fans). I decided not to go - as much as I love the book and the movies the idea of paying to be taken into the middle of a field doesn't appeal to me - instead I've spent my day wandering around Rotorua. I went down to the lake and wound up in the first Maori built Anglican church (St Faiths) - it was very pretty. It was right near the lake - in a very relaxing location. I sat there for a little while just listening to all the birds on the lake. As you walk around Rotorua you just see random jets of steam coming out of the side of the road - near the church I passed some boiling water just off the kerb! I left the church and walked through the park - there was a brilliant thermal lake - I walked around it and had to keep stopping because the steam was so thick that I couldn't see through it. Then I found more boiling mud so I took more mud photos :) that kept me occupied for about half and hour. Tomorrow we head off to Auckland and then on Friday we're off to Fiji. Can't believe that I'm nearly finished my NZ travels - time seems to have just flown by!

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